Last week I asked, "How do I make healthy food choices?" This week I want to elaborate on my answer: Make food choices ahead of time.
In the context of last week's post I implied that I am making food choices before visiting a restaurant. I've only recently started that, and I'm certainly NOT consistent with planning before I enter a restaurant.
But I am fairly consistent with weekly meal planning for our at-home meals.
Why weekly menu plans?
If I don't plan our meals each week then I end up preparing my "go-to" meals of toast and scrambled eggs or quesadillas and fruit. Or, even worse, we end up eating out.
Weekly meal plans help me prepare healthy meals for my family.
How do you plan a weekly menu?
I've written a menu planning tutorial that is very detailed and takes prices as well as nutrition into consideration. You are welcome to read and/or print the tutorial.
The simple way of menu planning is to just make a list of the foods you want to eat each day. Just this week I ran across an wonderful menu planner download from Teaching What Is Good. (The owner of Teaching What Is Good has given me permission to use her image and for you to download and print her planner.)
|Image from Teaching What Is Good|
If you are new to menu planning this is a very simple template to use. Just fill in the foods you plan to eat for each meal. The only thing it doesn't have is a place to plan snacks but you could use 'special notes' for that.
I especially like the shopping list down the side. Occasionally I get to the store and they are out of an ingredient I need. By having the shopping list attached to my menu I can remember what meal I needed the ingredient for and make adjustments.
If you are trying to change eating habits or add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, I highly recommend you plan your meals in advance. Meal planning helps me stay focused on my goals when time and energy at at a premium. A plan keeps me from reverting back to old habits.
Are you a meal planning newbie or pro?