Creating a meal plan and shopping list for the week is a great habit to get into. It will save you time and money and will make you feel more organised around mealtimes.
Here are some tips for meal planning that we have gathered from other busy parents.
Tip 1. Use The Food Connection Meal Plan Template
Download The Food Connection's free Meal Plan Template, click here. It’s a great tool to help plan your meals in advance. Place your weekly meal plan on the fridge or in a handy spot in the kitchen so you and the family know what’s for dinner each night.
Tip 2. Use your Meal Plan to create your Shopping List
By planning your meals in advance, you can write a shopping list with the exact items you need to purchase each week. This will save you time and money. Download The Food Connection Shopping List here to help you plan your weekly shop. Live Lighter also has a fantastic guide with tips on shopping to save money and eat well.
Tip 3. Create theme nights
Theme nights can be fun and they really help with planning out your weekly meals. Try things like Meat Free Mondays, Taco Tuesdays and Fake Away Fridays. Check out our Fakeaway Fridays tip sheet for inspiration.
Tip 4. Pre-prepare your ingredients
If you know you have a busy day ahead tomorrow, you can save yourself time by chopping up veggies the night before.
Tip 5. Make extra and freeze your meals
Great for busy families, making double the quantity and freezing the leftovers is perfect for a quick and easy meal another night. For some good freezable recipes, check out our Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese, Leafy Green Pesto and Easy Peasy Zucchini Slice. Also, look at Easy Tips for Freezing Food for more helpful hints.
Tip 6. Organise your kitchen, fridge and pantry
An organised kitchen, fridge and pantry make meal preparation much easier. You’ll be able to quickly and easily see all your ingredients and cooking utensils, which help make meal prep more efficient and stress-free. By also having various kitchen staples on hand, you will have plenty of quick and easy meal options for dinner. Check out our Kitchen Staples tips for ideas of what to keep in your fridge and pantry.
The Food Connection
Tips and Tricks have been prepared by nutritionists, dieticians, health professionals and parents from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.
Tips & Tricks
Cooking with Kids
After School Snack Ideas
Easy Tips for Freezing Food
Keeping Fruit and Veggies Longer
Meal Planning Tips
Snacks on a Stick
Top five tips for encouraging children to enjoy more vegetables
How to Reduce Food Waste
Supporting a Healthy Relationship With Food