Do you plan your meals from scratch or get some food from a fast food store? Few people make their meals because of their tight schedules. Televised cooking shows and cooking lessons on YouTube have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, fewer people are experimenting with these recipes in their kitchens.
Planning a meal from scratch means less impulse shopping. It means a no to unhealthy options that some people give their families. Making meals with healthy ingredients means setting aside time to shop for them and cook.
The following factors will help you when planning healthy meals.
1. Time to Cook
People with busy schedules prefer to grab a bagged salad and serve it to their family members. They simply don’t have time to shop for ingredients and prepare their own salad.
However, those with a pretty uneventful week can go to the grocery store, pick what they need, and prepare their salad or meals as they bond with their children. Still, people with a few busy days can prepare meals when they have a few free hours and refrigerate them. Having a healthy meal after a chaotic day can make your evening pleasant.
2. Availability of Seasonal Food
Generally, seasonal foods are less costly and more flavorful compared to what you pick from the fridge in a grocery store or supermarket. You can talk to the grocer to find out when certain veggies and fruits are in season, particularly in your area.
Then you can plan your meals based on the ingredients in the season. For instance, you can bake blueberry muffins or make blueberry pies for your dessert when blueberries are in the season. Another time make fresh guacamole for quesadilla topping when avocados are in season. Don’t forget to make pumpkin bread or pumpkin soup when there are plenty of pumpkins.
3. Special Occasions
It’s essential to mark future special accessions and prepare to celebrate them accordingly. Actually, you should alter your everyday meal plans to accommodate these special occasions.
You can plan an outdoor picnic to celebrate an anniversary, birthday, graduation, etc. Some of the healthy meals you can prepare during the occasion include sandwiches, finger foods, burgers, fruit salad, corn on the cob, and much more. You can also bake a cake for your guests during your child’s birthday party, an anniversary, etc.
4. Availability of Resources
Planning your weekly meal is easy when you have the money to buy ingredients. Setting aside 15% of your income for food can be helpful. This amount includes purchasing ingredients from the local grocery store and eating out occasionally.
You can save a lot of money when you plan meals around sales in your local grocery. That means you have to spend some time browsing the store fliers and creating a menu around these sales. Additionally, you can plan your weekly meals around food items or ingredients that you have coupons for. Lastly, you can vary your menu based on ingredients in the season. These options are geared towards reducing the cost of feeding your family with a nutritious diet.
5. Plan Your Meals Around Your Family likes
Including your children and other family members in planning their meals can be fun. You can encourage them to share their favorites, assist in shopping for their ingredients and help with menu planning.
In fact, you can go to the grocery stores to shop for these ingredients together, prepare meals from scratch and eat together. Further, preparing their favorites will discourage them from eating fast foods or eating out. Instead, they will prefer to prepare healthy meals at home and try different recipes which they can download from YouTube or other social networks.
You can emphasize the need to eat different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, fat-free dairy products, lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, etc. Further, you can encourage them to control portion sizes too. These tips will help you raise a healthy family.