In order to be sure you are going to be eating well throughout the week you need to put in a plan of action.
The worst thing to do would be not to plan and then when you are hungry just look in your fridge and pull out something that you know you shouldn’t be eating. I have done this so many times. I know it might be the easier thing to do, but believe me it is not good for you. Here are the things to do to prepare for a healthy week:
Step One: Get rid of all the junk in your fridge and pantry.
Yes, even if it is for your kids. As a mother its our job to be sure our children are eating healthy balanced meals. I believe treats are ok some of the time, but giving your kids junk will make their taste buds want that even more. We will be setting our kids up for failure! I have two bins in my pantry. I put them high up so its not so convenient to get to. One has cookies and cracker type of snacks and the other has candy and chocolate. When I feel my children can have these type of treats I go to those bins. But for me NO WAY. The way I stay away from those things is by thinking “C’mon, you’ve had these things a billion times before. You know what they taste like. You don’t need them. You are stronger than this!!” And so I only give those foods to my children. So right now you should have your kitchen nice and clean from all junk, minus the few items of treats for your children. It’s also good to see what foods you already have in your house that you may want to include in your meal plan.
Step Two: Write up a meal plan.
Now when I say meal plan, I do not mean just for dinner. You need to know what you will be eating for breakfast, snacks, and lunch as well. I will be doing posts going through the different options you can have for all those meals, so stay tuned. Just be sure you cover all the foods and meals you will be making. This saves you lots of time and money. You will have a shopping list as well so you know you won’t forget anything or over buy.
Step Three: Shop!
Go to your favorite grocery and buy all the things on your list. Of course you will see other things and want to buy them, but try to stick to your list. If you do want to buy anything else, just be sure it is truly healthy. Even if the box says “All Natural” it doesn’t mean its actually healthy for you. Sugar is natural! So keep an eye out on those labels.
Step Four: Get Cookin’
I try to cook all my meals on Sunday so that I don’t have much to do the rest of the week. I just warm up the food and serve.
This is not easy to do. You will for sure get exhausted from this. Being on your feet for a while cooking, washing dishes and then cooking some more could be tough. But it is worth it! Put on some music to make it more enjoyable. Open the windows to get in some fresh air. You don’t need to feel like you are locked up in that kitchen. Enjoy it!
Step Five: Pack up all your food in containers or however you like. You can label your items and store them separately or you can put your meals into containers so all you have to do is take out the container labeled “lunch.”
Step Six: Enjoy your week worth of healthy meals. And not to mention your clean kitchen since you should barely be in there to cook!
Here are some of the things I made for this week. I made some in the morning and the rest will be done at night or if I don’t find time, Monday morning.
- Overnight Oats
- Granola Bars
- Pre-washed lettuce and cut veggies
- Sweet potato
- Green Beans
- Cabbage Salad
- Brown Rice
- Teriyaki or Orange Chicken
- Grilled Veggies
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Veggie Burgers
- Hard boiled eggs
- Any vegetables you have. Here I used carrots, eggplant, red and yellow bell peppers, and onion.
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- Little sprinkle of sea salt
Now in terms of foods for your children. Some kids will eat the foods you make for yourself and your husband, but others (ahem, like mine!) will turn their heads to anything but yogurt, cereal, or sandwiches. Do not let this stress you out (totally talking to myself here!) Offer your kids the foods you made and if they don’t want-don’t sweat it. Give them the other usual options. I find that if I eat with them they will end up eating all my food off my plate. The other day my 2 year old ate all my lettuce in my salad- go figure!
And as you see taking these pictures my son decided he likes broccoli. Give it a try and you will be shocked to see the healthy foods your children enjoy.
Do you meal plan? What are some of your favorite foods you have weekly?