Meal planning is the activity of making meals in a day to eat for the next week. This activity is a good way to save time and enjoy healthy food. Getting into the habit of planning meals, shopping, and cooking will prevent you from getting bored with your diet and keep you healthy.
Method 1 of 3: Shopping
Step 1. Choose one day of the week to shop
Schedule shopping times and shop at that time each week. Most people shop on Saturday or Sunday, and prepare food on Sunday.
Step 2. Prepare your favorite recipe
While you can prepare a menu without an official recipe, you should have a recipe if your favorite dishes are difficult to cook, such as casserole, pasta, pressure cooker, or soup.
Step 3. Group recipes in a binder by key ingredient so you can make a variety of dishes with specific proteins, vegetables, or grains
Step 4. Make a shopping list
Get out your recipe binder and find an ingredient you want to use for the week, such as chicken or pumpkin. Make a shopping list for the ingredients you want to use for the week so you don't shop on impulse.
Step 5. Shop wholesale
If you have a membership at a grocery store, you might want to try using that membership. Grocery shopping is highly recommended as you cook large quantities to eat during the week.
Step 6. Try the following shopping list
Your shopping list should include two types of protein, 3-5 types of vegetables, 2-3 types of grains, and other recipe ingredients. Here is an example of a shopping list that you can try:
- Dairy products: low-fat feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt, and low-fat Mozzarella
- Packaged/large-sized products: black beans, chickpeas, corn, whole wheat bread, pasta sauce, vegetable stock, quinoa, or couscous.
- Fresh produce: Basil, bell pepper, a bunch of broccoli, 1/2 quart of tomato, a bunch of garlic, a bunch of mustard greens, lemon, parsley, two onions, potatoes, strawberries.
- Protein: chicken breast, egg, shrimp, minced meat, or sausage.
- Spices and oils: coconut or olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, foil or paper towels.
Method 2 of 3: Cooking
Step 1. Start cooking in the morning on cooking day
Your cooking day will reduce the time you need in the kitchen for a week, or even eliminate it altogether. Most people cook on Sunday or Monday.
Step 2. Make breakfast pancakes or waffles 2-3 times your serving, so you can eat them every 2-3 days
The pancake/waffle dough is cheap, but both breakfasts will fill you up more than cereal.
- For a healthier breakfast, try a protein pancake.
- Replace waffles and pancakes with burritos. Make an omelet and fried sausage, then add the cheese and nuts.
- Freeze the burritos and take some to heat in the microwave every morning.
Step 3. Cook stews, pasta sauces, or chicken dishes in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours
This dish will be your dinner or lunch for the week.
Step 4. Boil the eggs
Eggs can be eaten as a snack, but can also be combined with a salad or eaten for breakfast to increase the protein content in the menu.
Step 5. Roast chicken or turkey
Skin 2-4 chicken/turkey breasts, then place on the grill for 10 minutes on each side. Put a little water on the plate, under the rack, so that the chicken is tender.
Step 6. Make the most elaborate meal for Sunday dinner twice so that you have leftovers for the next few days
Step 7. Make muffins or "protein bars"
Both can last for a week and can be engineered into a healthy diet. You can also serve both as breakfast, a snack, or a dessert.
Step 8. Make large quantities of brown rice, quinoa, cuscus, or black rice, at least 4 cups
Then, use a different grain each week to get different nutrients.
Step 9. Saute, grill, or steam vegetables
Add butter, coconut oil, or olive oil, and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Stir to save time in the kitchen.
Step 10. Cut up the chicken, vegetables and fruit
Do it in a large corner of the kitchen 30 minutes before the food is packaged.
Method 3 of 3: Packaging
Step 1. Purchase Tupperware containers and freezer-friendly containers
You need to buy enough containers to hold 5 days of food, so you should have at least 15 main containers and an extra container for sauces and other foods. Make sure the container you buy is also microwave-friendly.
Step 2. Put your Sunday leftovers in a container to freeze
Remove from the freezer overnight before serving to allow the food to thaw a little in the refrigerator. By storing in the freezer, you avoid the risk of food spoilage, because food can be stored for more than a week in the freezer if needed,
Step 3. Pack your breakfast
Wrap the burrito or pancake and place it in the freezer or refrigerator. Break yogurt from a large pack into a 120ml container, and add fruit on top.
Step 4. Mix the fruits you bought to make a fruit salad
Make 5-10 salad containers to serve at breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.
Step 5. Pack lunch
Place 1/2 cup of rice or other grain-based food in the bottom of the container. Add 120-170 grams of chopped chicken breast and one cup of mixed vegetables.
- Pour a little of your favorite sauce in plastic and tape the plastic to each lunch packet so you can mix it in after the lunch is heated.
- Replace whole grains with spinach or lettuce for a lunch salad.
Step 6. Freeze the cookies in an airtight container
If you make too many cookies for the week, freeze some for next week.
Step 7. Place the vegetables, protein, and grains that will be used for other recipes in separate containers
When you make simple lettuce, pasta, or tacos, you can use the chopped ingredients immediately before cooking.
Step 8. Set up your refrigerator
Place breakfast containers in one area, lunch containers in another, and dinner preparations in a different area. Tick if needed, or use a different container color.
Step 9. Place ingredients that won't be eaten in three days in the freezer, then take them out when you're about to use them
This step is especially important if you buy unmarinated chicken, fish, or pork.