Healthy Family Meal Plans on a Budget
Meal planning usually appears like a difficult task, especially if you’re on a budget. Furthermore, coming up with nutritious, healthy meals for your entire household is also challenging.
Nevertheless, some recipes will make your family, even your kids, look forward to mealtimes.
No matter how many mouths you’re feeding, meal planning helps you control your spending while increasing the variety of food your family eats.
Read on to discover ways you can cut costs on eating healthy.
How Meal Planning Affects Your Health
When adopting meal planning, ensure you balance the nutrients. For instance, eating only food high in carbs will lead to a deficiency in certain nutrients and weight gain.
The resulting deficiency and weight gain imply that carbs are the major nutrient which dominates the other food classes. However, you can regain back your shape once you start exercising and eating healthy again.
Budget-Friendly Meal Planning
You can start with these tips if you’re wondering how to plan your family meal.
Set Aside Time for Meal Planning
When you plan the family meal, mostly from ingredients at home, you spend less time and money at the grocery store. Create a routine for family meal planning by setting aside one hour or two each weekend when you believe you can focus. You might start with a pen or paper, or use a meal planning app. This practice will help you avoid running around looking for what to cook when you come back from a busy day at work.
Shop Your Pantry
After the meal plan, go to your kitchen and assess the pantry and refrigerator to know what’s available so you can plan around it. This measure will help you avoid restocking available ingredients and reduces food waste.
Consider Meal Rotation
While some families adopt Taco Tuesdays and Meatless Mondays, you can also create Salad Sundays and Soup Saturdays. Simply put, you can theme each day with a pre-assigned category so you wouldn’t have to keep asking what’s for dinner.
Plan Beyond Dinner
Besides planning dinners, you can also plan breakfasts and lunches. Planning breakfasts will eliminate the problem of trying to rustle up something in haste, especially if your kids are still in school.
Additionally, planning lunches will help you know what to pack in your kid’s lunchboxes.
A Healthy Family Meal Plan Using Homemade Recipes
Even on a budget, your family can enjoy various delicious and amazing healthy meals. The following are some of my family’s favorites:
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Pancakes are a famous breakfast recipe; however, you can switch it up by adding some ingredients, for instance, sweet potatoes.
Breakfast Burritos are one favorite meal your family will enjoy having, at least once a week. You can make it in a large quantity and freeze some- they’re one perfect grab-and-go meal for your kids on super busy days.
Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
You can serve blueberry baked oatmeal if you’re tired of the regular oatmeal for breakfast. You can use frozen blueberries since they cost less and last longer.
Whole Wheat Waffles
Your family will enjoy having whole wheat waffles during the weekend. It contains more nutrients than the everyday waffles, seeing as it has whole grain flour and cheese in the batter.
Tex Mex Bistro Box
The tex mex bistro food box is quick to prepare and contains chips, fresh veggies, guacamole, cheese, and black olives. It’s a good idea for lunch, seeing as it doesn’t take long to assemble.
You can always prepare pb&j sandwiches in large quantities ahead of time and store them in the freezer so your kids can grab one during lunchtime.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Add the cauliflower vegetable while preparing your mac and cheese to add a new flavor. With the cauliflower in your sauce, you don’t need to prepare a side dish for dinner.
Santa Fe Chicken Salad
The homemade Santa Fe chicken salad is filled with avocado, black beans, yummy taco seasoning, and corn and is perfect for lunch.
Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
The slow cooker lasagna soup recipe is perfect for dinner if you love lasagna but dread its preparation.
Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
Prepare your rice and the Asian sauce and serve for dinner with a chicken and broccoli stir-fry.
Vegetable Thai Curry
You can prepare this Thai curry for dinner and serve it with brown rice or whole-wheat noodles. It’s made with fresh or frozen vegetables and chicken.
Whole Wheat Pasta
You can prepare the sauce for whole-wheat pasta as dinner by adding fresh or canned tomatoes, canned borlotti beans, frozen or fresh spinach, and garlic.
Besides making cheap and convenient meals, meal planning helps you prepare healthy meals.
Remember, weekly meal planning according to what’s in your pantry will help you avoid the stress of always thinking of what to cook. Additionally, making use of leftovers will save you from preparing new meals every time.