Invaluable tips on how to easily plan meals when our lives are anything but easy. Plus awesome tips for single parents you can walk away with at least one thing you’ll be able to implement to make mealtime easier.
Below is an overview of the conversation of How to Meal Plan so You’ll Stick With It. To hear the whole the interview listen to Episode #42 of Grace for Single Parents wherever you listen to Podcasts.
Meal Planning tips to help you stay consistent
- Meal Planning isn’t a one size fits all solution. If you try and use a preplanned meal plan that someone else has come up with, there are so many ways that it’s going to fall apart in your home.
- Everyone says time is the biggest obstacle to meal planning but you have to dig in deeper and ask what about the time is it that you can’t figure out when you’re going to eat?
3 part system to meal planning
- I teach families to do is to look at their activities first.
- Secondly set a dinner bell. And the dinner bell is the target time for when you’re going to eat. And most families, it’s not going to be the same time each night. The key to setting a dinner bell is that gives you a target time to get things ready.
- Plan what kind of meal you’re going to have: something that is in the oven, in the crockpot, something that you can quickly reheat, like taco meat that you’ve made earlier, that you can eat dinner.
- When you plan your meals around your life, rather than trying to fit meals into an ideal situation, that none of us really have, you’re going to be so much more successful.
Meal Planning Tips for Single Parents
- Goes back to what are your activities are like if you’re someone who really likes to cook when you’re just that one person that may be the time where you’re fixing most of the meals for when you have your kids with you. But if you’re someone that doesn’t really prefer to cook, you might be cooking when your kids are home and then just eating leftovers.
- When you are by yourself, it’s a matter of figuring out what you prefer and don’t try and make it something that someone else tells you, you should be doing. You need to think about your energy and your enjoyment when it comes to fixing food.
- When life is really, really busy and there’s a lot of stress then feeding your kids is enough. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest Perfect. It doesn’t have to be nutritionally perfect. If you’re feeding them a few fruits and vegetables and some frozen chicken nuggets out of a bag, you’re enough. If it’s cheese and crackers on the couch, you’re enough.
- Save yourself 15 or 20 minutes at night by just starting the pot of water to boil for the pasta when you get home before you go and change clothes or do any other food prep. Then come back to the kitchen and the water is ready for the pasta while you get a few veggies chopped for a salad and the rest of the meal ready.
Grocery Store Tips
- Follow the Aldi ad to add variety to my kids’ fruit. Other than that, I buy my staples at Aldi.
- If you’re on a crazy tight budget then meal planning according to the ads may be worth it. Otherwise, shop the ads for the chicken or meat then get the staples at an Aldis or other discount store.
- The backup meal is any meal that you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less with ingredients that you have in the house all the time.
- Examples: bean & cheese quesadillas or chicken noodle soup.
- A backup meal is faster than the drive-through.
- Try to think of 3-4 backup meals and have the ingredients in the pantry and freezer ready to go at all times.
This was an overview of the conversation of How to Meal Plan so You’ll Stick With It. To hear the whole the interview listen to Episode #42 of Grace for Single Parents wherever you listen to Podcasts.