Time Management Tools-Meal Planning

Time management is really a big component in healthy living.  Food prep, exercising and nurturing relationships are things not typically scheduled.  These items can be scheduled in your mind (to soon become second nature) or putting it in your calendar-but they need to be handled like any other scheduled appointment and become a priority.

The first step in healthy eating is planning meals so you aren’t caught off-guard. Convenient food is often the catalyst for unhealthy eating which leads to not feeling your best.

Meal planning via a calendar like my examples is a big step in managing your meal quality and budget effectively. The idea is to take the energy out of having to figure out what to feed your family every night-just follow the directions!  Give yourself a reward for taking this big step and remember this successful milestone.   Here is my meal planning calendar which is unlike others in that it saves writing, planning time and money in these ways:

  • Theme-based meals to add a fun and lighthearted feeling around the idea of meal planning.  My kids liken the menu calendar to a restaurant with the specials listed. My family also likes to get into the themes and dresses up the table according to Taco Tuesdays or if is Asian night. Have fun with it.
  • List meals monthly rather than weekly.  This saves time rather than writing something everyday or even weekly.  Take one day a month to write in meals.
  • Meals can be chosen from different weeks by placing a reusable sticky or magnet around the meal you choose.
  • Flexible planning based on last minute sales or coupons
  • Visual examples of how food can be stretched into another meal.  See below for an example: The Taco Tuesday theme day shows Turkey taco salad.  Save some fresh turkey from Tuesday’s meal preparation and use it for Wednesday’s lunch or Thursday’s dinner.  The point is to show how shopping and meal prep can be done on one day but used for multiple days.     

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