Setting your family up for a healthy week ahead is all about planning – meal planning to be precise. Stocking the fridge and pantry with nourishing foods will not only ensure that you can serve up a healthy meal every night but it will also reduce the amount of food waste, and save you time and money.
You won’t need to duck into the supermarket each evening on your way home from work, the gym or kids’ sporting activities, instead you’ll have the ingredients to prepare a tasty meal each week.
Buy from the list
You’ll want to get in the habit of planning your healthy meals before you go shopping, making a list of the ingredients you need, and only buying the things on your list. The internet can help you find healthy recipes to create a meal plan. When you are in the supermarket the FoodSwitch app can help you choose healthier alternatives for some of your listed ingredients.
Shop at home first
To make sure the food you’ve bought doesn’t go to waste, use the ingredients for your next meal plan. Apps such as Epicurious can be used to find recipes that include the ingredients you already have in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Do you have leftover chicken or some broccoli? Find a recipe on the app to stop them from going to waste.
Cook once, eat twice
Before you do your grocery shopping, review your weekly schedule. If you have the busiest week of your life coming up, you won’t want to cook a three-hour roast. Instead, look for quick recipes or even make meals ahead of schedule that can be served fast, easily and more than once.
Keep it flexible
Just because it’s cold on the day you’re meal prepping, doesn’t mean it will be throughout the week. Take into consideration the weather, cravings and events coming up so you’re not prepping hot soup on a 30°C day. Keep your plan fluid – instead of planning seven meals for seven specific nights, allow the kids to choose each day from the plan to keep things flexible and fun.
If you’ve had a last minute schedule change and you can’t make the planned meal, try using the ingredients another way or freezing them for later. Meals like homemade pizzas and stir-fry can be great ways to use up vegetables and leftover meat.