I never get tired of writing and talking about meal planning. I think planning ahead is the single most important thing busy moms can do to make sure that they’re eating healthy (and that their families are eating healthy too!).
I’m sure there are super moms out there who can manage grocery shopping multiple times per week and coming up with healthy dinner ideas at a moment’s notice, but I’m not one of them. So if you’re like me (and the many, many other moms who I know), these 5 tips are for you.
Five Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms
1. Always be looking for new recipes.
Don’t wait until it’s time to grocery shop or cook to come up with ideas for what you want to make. New recipes also keep healthy eating exciting and fun. I have boards dedicated to “My Eats” and “Make Ahead Meals” on Pinterest. Follow me for recipes, my recipe reviews, and new meal ideas.
2. Plan at least a week’s worth of dinners at a time.
If you’re going to cook dinner every night (or at least most nights), it helps to know ahead of time what you’re cooking so you have the necessary ingredients on-hand. In separate blog posts, I shared how my husband and I plan and shop for one week at a time, and how we graduated to planning and shopping for TWO weeks at a time.
3. Prep healthy snacks.
Prepping snacks is just as important as dinners. You don’t want to eat out of vending machines when you’re on-the-go, do you? I am a huge fan of keeping a stocked healthy snack bin in my refrigerator and pantry…and my almost-3-year-old is too!
I froze more than 2 weeks worth of meals before I had my second baby. It was a dream come true to have that healthy food on-hand. I’m also notorious for prepping and freezing dishes to serve on holidays and at birthday parties. One of my most famous freezer-to-oven recipes is my Chicken Pot Pie. My cookbook, ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes,’ also contains some of my favorite, super simple freezer recipes.
5. Freezer-to-Slow Cooker.
To save time prepping, you can simply chop and combine your vegetables, meats, and seasonings and freeze them to cook in your slow cooker. I think this method of meal prep is so ingenious that I included three freezer-to-slow cooker recipes in my cookbook! I also love to share slow cooker recipes that freezer weel on this blog, like Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy BBQ Chicken and Slow Cooker Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup.
What’s missing from my list? What’s your best tip for meal planning?