Mom – what’s for dinner?
Meal planning seems to be the theme of the hour lately with my clients. You are strapped for time and find it exhausting to get home from work with your kids whining “what’s for dinner?”. Often it ends up being scrambled eggs and toast again tonight, or take out. While there’s nothing wrong with frequenting your neighbourhood drive thru, when it becomes too frequent nutrition and your pocket book suffer.
To make life easier here are a few general tips that I find are helpful to get you on track with planning meals for your family:
- Pre-plan! Make a plan for the week for all your families’ meals and snacks. Try to include at least 1 fish meal, 1 meatless meal, and lots of green and orange vegetables in your week. Use your weekly flyers to find specials and deals of the week. Plan your meals to include 3 or 4 foods groups: vegetables or fruit, grains, milk or milk alternative, and meat or alternative. Plan for an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, as they make great grab and go snacks.
- Shop with a list. Once you’ve made your plan – make a grocery list. And stick to it. People who go to the grocery store without a plan or list buy food that ends up going to waste by the end of the week. Buying what you will eat each week will make your grocery budget last longer, keep money in your pocket, and most importantly wasted food out of the compost bin.
- Cook for your freezer. I credit my mom for this sage advice. On those days when you are out and about and strapped for time for meal preparation there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you can pull a healthy meal out of the freezer. Make double portions of meals and store the second batch in the freezer for a quick and easy meal in the future.
- Get organized! If you are like me you have a collection of cookbooks that seem to be collecting dust. Create a system (a three ring binder works well) that includes all your favourite recipes, and references to your favourite recipes in your cookbooks or websites. You’ll never have to remember what you did with that favourite recipe.Get an app: If you are past the point of pen and paper use apps like My CookBook and Our groceries to get and keep yourself on track. Do you have favourite apps that help you get organized? Please share.
These steps are simple but effective. Many of my clients don’t think like this but those that have started a raving about it. The pressure about what’s for dinner is gone which is a relief in our busy lifestyles. When you have a plan to eat well you’ll have the energy to live well.