Good morning beautiful friends!
This post has been a long time coming! I’ve wanted to sit down and discuss meal planning with you for at least two months. However, as always, life seems to interfere and they're is always a task that must be completed or a baby to cuddle, and I haven't had time to post until now!
So, without further ado, here is how I plan my families meals and make the process quick, painless and enjoyable!
Gather Your Materials
As with everything I usually ask you to do, the process planning and organizing involves doing a bit of homework before you actually start. Meal planning can be incredibly daunting, however if you do a little bit of planning and organizing before hand you will make the whole process so much easier! So, pull out a notebook or files, your computer and a pen and lets get started.
What’s for Dinner?!
The first step in meal planning is identifying what recipes are family favorites, what you enjoy making and enjoy eating, and any new recipes that you want to try out. For us, this boils down to a total of 21 meals for the month of April (see below for that list!). Since my Husband and I eat a primarily Paleo diet, my master list will not include any pasta dishes. If you’re stuck for recipes, try grabbing a piece of paper and writing down maybe 5 or 6 main ingredients you want to use and then 4 or 5 recipes you could incorporate that ingredient into. Pinterest is always my go to place for finding new recipes to try out!
The materials I use for meal planning are:
Your personal calendar or family calendar (I use an Erin Condren life planner, hourly format)
Meal planning and grocery list printable (with the amount you will need for the month. For me that would be 5 printed meal planning and grocery lists)
Seasonal produce list (can be found on Pinterest! Type in “seasonal Produce” and then your country)
Master recipe list (see bellow)
Recipes (the pulled out recipes from my master list for the month)
Putting it all together
Grab your calendar printable, your personal calendar, the master recipe list and the seasonal produce list. Then, going day by day take a quick look at what’s happening in your personal calendar, refer to your master recipe list and write down the recipe you would like to make in the calendar printable. I check the seasonal produce list for sides, so I know what veggies will be in season and then add one or two veggies per dinner.
After you have finished the master calendar, grab the meal planning and grocery list printable. Going day by day input any ingredients that you’re going to need to pick up for the weeks worth of recipes.
Although this seems like a lot of work, this makes the month go incredibly smoothly.
But whats for breakfast and lunch?
Awesome question! I keep our breakfasts and lunches beyond simple. My beautiful Husband gets a smoothie each morning, and then will have either left overs or a salad for lunch. My daughter and I will have an incredibly simple meals that are:
Lauren and Amelia Breakfast (all include a fruit and a veggie)
Scrambled eggs and toast
Lauren and Amelia Lunch (all include a fruit and a veggie)
Soup and bread
Keeping breakfasts and lunches easy to plan and prepare lets my day go a bit easier! I also like to make dishes simple so Amelia can help me make them. She’s currently taking great pride in making her own scrambled eggs and cutting her own fruit (and I say "cutting" in the loosest sense of the term).
Hey that’s me!
Thanks to the beautiful Instagram Live feature (my love for you, Instagram, knows no bounds), I can save the videos and upload them to YouTube! So, if you want a bit more of a conversation about meal planning, or just want to see if a coffee cup is indeed is as big as my head, check this out:
Later this week I will share a list of recipes and links for you to delve into and maybe add to your monthly or weekly dinner menu!
How do you meal plan and prep? Let me know in the comments I'm always looking for some new ideas or techniques to incorporate!
I hope you have a truly wonderful remainder of your week!