Hi there and Happy late Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!
My parents are visiting Nashville this week so I was lucky enough to spend Mother's Day with my mom this year. One morning, I had a wonderful conversation with my parents about meal planning, healthy eating and their struggles and barriers to do so. My mom admitted that she doesn’t like to plan meals ahead of time. She doesn’t mind the grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen, but the planning part is not her cup of tea. Can you relate?
So, Mom and I sat down to meal plan together. I wanted to help take away her overwhelming feelings about meal planning and simplify it for her and my dad. And guess what, you can too!
Here’s how we meal planned together:
Write it down! We used our free downloadable meal planner + grocery list to write down all meals and snacks for next week. (Get the planner here.)
Break it down. Take the guesswork out of ALL your meals and snacks by deciding ahead of time what they will be. Also, it is important to think about all members of the household. For example, my parents need different amounts of foods, have different schedules and like different things. So they’re should be options for both of them on the meal plan. We broke it down into the following:
Choose options you are confident in. It is important to have tried and true favorites on your meal plan. This helps to alleviate feeling overwhelmed throughout the week. But try to only put these options on the list sparingly throughout the week. My mom makes great mashed potatoes, but that doesn’t mean they should be eaten everyday.
Try something new. As much as it is important to keep favorites on the menu, it is just as important to try something new. It is very easy to get stuck in an eating rut. But let’s be honest - that gets boring. By trying at least ONE new thing a week, our recipe arsenal will get bigger and we will have more variety in our weeks. And variety is key to healthy eating.
Put it into action! This may be the most obvious one, but also the most critical. It can be easy to write it down and make a plan, but habits are hard to break. So, take your plan + list with you to the store and follow it for the week. By slowly implementing small changes - these will be the meal planning habits that form and won’t be considered such a chore anymore!
Do you feel the same way my mom does? We would love to hear about the struggles you face, too! Comment below!