Eat Healthier With the Kids Using These Family Meal Planning Tips
Eat Healthier With These Family Meal Planning Tips
Trying to get your whole family to be healthy can seem like a difficult task, but if you follow these family meal planning tips you can help everyone be healthy!
In spite of the fact that over 3/4 of Americans claim that they focus on healthy eating, most of us aren't actually getting the nutrition we need.
When you take a look at the added ingredients, excess sugar, and over-reliance on fast food, it's not hard to see why.
The question is, what are we going to do about it, and what concrete steps can you take to protect not only your own health, but the health of your family members, as well?
It all starts with healthy meal planning.
Yes, exercise is important, but it's what you eat that really makes a difference.
How can you ensure that your portions, nutrients, and of course, the actual taste, of the meals you make for your family is up to snuff?
Read on for family meal planning tips!
1. Start On Sunday Night
Sticking to a family meal plan is a lot more doable when you have all the ingredients on hand, the recipes printed out, and the appliances and kitchen tools you need to make it happen.
This is what Sunday afternoons and evenings are for.
Start by gathering your family members together for a few minutes and coming up with potential meal ideas for the week. Then, make a list of the ingredients you'll need, and try to figure out when is the best time to head to the grocery store during the week.
The truth is that, once your week takes off, you're just not going to have the time or the interest to head to the store. Preparing as much as possible over the weekend is the key to success here.
2. Make Cooking A Family Activity
The biggest tip we can offer when it comes to actually sticking with family meal planning in the long term?
Make it a family activity.
This means that you should let every member of your household choose at least one meal a week. It also means that, whenever possible, you should focus on cooking and preparing those meals together.
Plan an after-school grocery store trip with your children, or pick up a few international cookbooks to get your kids excited about trying foods from around the world.
Not only is this a wonderful way to instil healthy eating habits in every member of your family, it's also an even better bonding experience. Plus, it helps you all to practice the all-important act of mindful eating.
3. Put The Menu On Your Family Calendar
When your family knows exactly what to expect for dinner that night, they're a lot more likely to be excited about skipping takeout to come home and enjoy it.
Make family meal planning fun by purchasing a chalk board and writing out the menu of the day for everyone to see.
You can even send out an email or text reminder about what's on the menu for tonight. Let your children decorate the menu, and have them set the table and light candles to re-create the experience of dining out.
You could even switch things up and set up a dining table outside on a beautiful summer night.
Not only will making a meal calendar help to create a happy atmosphere of excitement in the home, it will also prevent you from making the same meal too many times.
4. Look For Ways To Save
It goes without saying that family meal planning can save your family tons of cash, especially if you've been eating out a little more than you normally do lately.
However, there are ways to milk even more savings out of meal planning.
Start by taking a look at the spices and ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. What dishes can you create out of these items?
Then, grab a leaflet from your local grocery store, and try to figure out what ingredients are going to be on sale. Yes, you can do this once you get to the store, but having a list prepared and specific meals in mind is much easier.
Finally, don't forget to allow for leftovers!
Not only will this save you cash, but it also means that you won't have to cook nearly as often as you might think.
5. Allow For A Little Flexibility
The number-one thing to remember when it comes to family meal planning?
You're not going to get it all right 100% of the time.
Life happens -- practice or work runs late, the grocery store doesn't have the ingredients you want, or you get a last-minute dinner invitation from a friend.
Above all, make sure that you set realistic expectations for yourself. You don't need to work a full-time job, pick up and drop off your kids, and create a gourmet meal three times a day.
Plus, putting this kind of pressure on yourself is a surefire recipe for disaster.
Instead, focus on doing what you can, when you can -- and start off by committing only to that. Over time, you'll get into the routine of eating at home, and cooking and shopping won't seem nearly as overwhelming as it did in the beginning.
Need Additional Help With Family Meal Planning?
We hope this post has helped you to understand not only the importance, but also the ease of family meal planning.
Remember, it's all about making small changes and committing to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Of course, with everything else you have to do in a day, we know that meal planning and proper eating habits can sometimes fall by the wayside.
This is why we want to help you to keep up with your new, healthier lifestyle and family meal planning.
We, at HappiHuman.com, offer a variety of nutrition services, including a 3-month package, a plan for those with chronic conditions, and customized meal planning services.
When you're ready to take back control of your life, shed a few pounds, and just feel better every day, reach out to us to get started.
As always, I value your feedback. Please feel free to add your favourite family meal planning tip below - I’d love to hear from you!