How to start meal planning? [BONUS get a FREE weekly meal plan]

I’ve just finished buying grocery list for the next days and while shopping had this amazing idea: what about sharing with you my thoughts about meal planning and how to do it? 🙂

So, I’m gonna share with you the biggest lesson I’ve learnt since I am a Mom and it’s quite powerful: simplify your JOB as a MUM as much as you can as you gonna need time for yourself!
As some of you may already know by now, I am a big fan of planning &organizing, especially when it comes to meals, grocery lists, pack lunch for school and snacks, planning a dinner with friends or a lunch for 7 fussy-eater kids.

How to start meal planning? [BONUS get a FREE weekly meal plan]I started regularly planning my meals after I gave birth to my second child back in 2016.

At the beginning I somehow pushed myself to do the meal planning as it was difficult to get organized. But I knew it would help a lot when I have started the weaning process. 

Firstly I decided to start planning only luncheon.

As our lives got busier and busier, meal planning luncheon was my insurance.  I would eat something in the middle of the day when my blood sugar level had already begun to go down. After that I slowly started with the other meals and snacks.

What is meal planning?

Meal planning is the simple act of planning and writing down any of your meals for one day, for one week or for one month in advance (I once did the monthly plan it was absolutely amazing!) .

This plan should be designed for the whole family, especially for children because it is very, very important to EAT TOGETHER AT LEAST ONE MEAL AT THE SAME TABLE together with your kids.

Meal planning means listing different meals you want to enjoy daily during a week and also make a grocery list derived from that.

Take a pen and paper and put down your thoughts on what you would like to eat for one week. Then add the snacks, breakfast and dinner. Plan to eat wholesome meals. Plan a day out to eat in a restaurant. Plan a dinner with pizza (kids will be very happy). Plan your grocery list and even ask your child what they would like to eat. You’ll be surprised how many ideas they have.

meal planning grocery list

Meal planning can be as flexible and as rigid as you wish it to be.

To be honest at the beginning it doesn’t really matter what you plan as long as you start doing it and think about it. Your goal is to start from 0 for every single meal, but to start doing it. Soon after practicing you will know what to write.

Trust your GUT FEELING when working on your meal plan, because the word GUT is essential here. Keep in contact with yourself and your body, listen to what it tells you it needs. If you crave for some meat, beans, potatoes etc, insert them into your plan, it might mean your body really needs those nutrients.

Do the same with your husband and kids, ask them what they are craving for, what they fancy eating the next week. Their bodies are different than yours and you must be sure to provide them all the nutrients they need.

Does meal planning rock?

For me and my family it did rock big time. It also helped us save time, save money, have more control on our food choices, help children become more organized and give them options for sweets.

meal planning familySteps for meal planning

  1. Start small – meaning start planning only one or 2 meals per day. Don’t overthink from the beginning. We all know slow and steady wins the race.
  2. Map your menu and grocery lists – just add on your notes what you would like to eat and what you need for the meals you thought about
  3. Go shopping with the grocery list in front of you and go shopping after you eat something. Don t go shopping on an empty stomach.
  4. Take stock– I decide what I’m cooking based on what I have in the fridge/refrigerator. It s the best way to avoid food wastage and use the ingredients you already bought
  5. Take a lunch/dinner out or order it. Nights out together with your husband (if possible) would be great for both. If it s not the case you can order and eat in  together wit the kids.
  6. Involve your husband and kids in everything you plan or prepare; this makes them feel important like their opinion is taken into consideration. Let them decide what they want to eat. give them the grocery list and make them pick the veggies from the shelves. Involve them in preparing the food even if the house will be all messed up after.

These are my ideas when I come to plan my meal plans for the whole family. My point is the sooner you start doing it, the better for you as a mum and for your own peace of mind when it comes to ‘what are we gonna eat for dinner?’.

For my community I’ve decided to give out our weekly meal plan to help you get organized and try one week to see if this works for you.

So, if you sign up for my newsletter, every Friday you will receive my meal plan for the next week.

The meal plan I share with you is one of my family’s from the beginning of my journey into meal planning. If you wanna receive a customized meal plan based on your family needs or on your nutritional requirements, feel free to contact me and. Soon I will be posting my package on site my package for meal plan.

p.s. If you’re looking for a Romanian version of this article, my friend, wrote her own take for  meal planning after we worked together on it for a couple of month – 8 pași pentru planificarea meniului + [meniul pentru o săptămână]

Shine bright mom, you deserve it!

credit foto: arhiva personala si Torbjørn Helgesen & Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Andreea Grigoriu

wellbeing_champion coach

My name is Andreea and I am a well-being mum champion. I am a nutritionist coach, a gentle weaning off breastfeeding champion, homeopathic remedies & New German Medicine practitioner. I believe in magic and infinite possibilities. I am the lady behind the curtain at the Mum’s Champion Community group. Born and raised in Romania, I now live in the UK. I work with women to empower them live their best life after giving birth. I love to play my part in making their transition as smooth as possible to a new stage in their lives.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.