How to Get Started With Meal Planning

How to Get Started With Meal Planning

Written by Ann Kent
Registered Dietician
IG: @peasandhoppiness


You’ve probably heard before that meal planning is something you *should* be doing.

Yes, it’s true what they say: there are lots of benefits from planning your meals ahead.

Meal planning can help you save money on groceries, eat a more balanced diet, and decrease your stress level.

But where do you start? The Pinterest printables and stacks of cookbooks can make the process feel totally overwhelming.

My friend, you are not alone.

And the good news? There’s a way for you to get started with meal planning today – right now! – to make your life easier, better, and less stressful for the whole next week.

Start Small
Did you know that most people who meal plan DON’T cook every night of the week?

You don’t need to, either!

Instead of making a meal plan with multiple recipes or trying to cook several different meals in the same day, pick just one or two meals to make at home this week.

Starting with even just one recipe will help you learn new cooking skills and give you confidence in the kitchen. You’ll be able to build on this habit when you’re ready, which will give you long-lasting success.

Eat What You Love
If you’re making a meal plan for your family – whether it’s you and your partner or you also have kids to feed – it’s important to honor everyone’s taste preferences.

It might *seem* like a good idea to try a brand-new recipe with all new ingredients, but if your family isn’t used to trying new things this could feel overwhelming to them.

The last thing you need is for the eaters around your table to ask you to cook a second meal!

Instead, start with familiar foods and build on family favorites.

For example, if your family loves spaghetti, try serving this with a new vegetable side instead of the standard green beans.

Including a “safe food” at meals can help eaters (especially the picky ones) be more open to trying new things.

7 Tips to Help Your Picky Eaters Like More Foods

Work Around YOUR Schedule
If someone hands you a pre-made meal plan for the week, hand it right back to them.

Unless you can customize that meal plan to remove recipes your family won’t eat,
adjust the servings so you have enough (but not too many) leftovers, or add recipes that would work better for your family – I can guarantee that meal plan isn’t going to work for you.

How To Make A Weekly Meal Plan

At least, it’s not going to work for very long.

The number one reason my clients give up on meal planning is because the meal plan doesn’t work with their schedule.

Instead, you need to fit your meal plan around your life so you can still get your kids to soccer practice on time and stay late for the meeting at work.

How to Make Your First Meal Plan
If you’re ready to get started with a meal planning process that will make your life
easier, download this free Meal Planning Template.

Weekly Meal Planning Template

I’ll send you a week of meal inspiration to go alongside the template and walk you through my simple 3-step meal planning process.

Once you get your rhythm of meal planning down, you’ll be pleased to find yourself stressing less about dinnertime, eating your veggies instead of watching them wilt in the fridge, and saving time and money at the grocery store.

Happy meal planning!
Dietitian Ann

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