Meal Prep and Planning 101 For Beginners

Meal Prep and Planning 101 For Beginners

Written by: Drew Canole

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” -Unknown

So you’re ready to eat healthier with less effort, less money, less time, more fun and with delicious recipes? Welcome to the world of meal prep!

Here are some basic tips and techniques to meal planning to get your muse rolling…

Supplies And Containers For Successful Meal Prep

First things first, you need a few basic supplies! Don’t worry, you don’t need anything fancy, just a few staples to make your meal-prepping a whole lot easier.

Wide-Mouth Mason Jars

Mason jars are excellent for salads, soups and similar lunches. They are great for breakfasts on the go as well. On meal-prep day you can fill up enough to cover all your lunches for the week and then grab them on your way out the door. You can also get plastic, stackable cylinder jars with screw-top lids if storage space is an issue. Alternatively you can just reuse jars (e.g. pickles, jam, etc.) that you already have.

Glass Or Plastic Reusable Meal Containers

Meal containers can help you tremendously to portion your meals and take them with you to work or elsewhere. You want to have at least 6-10 containers per person per week, depending on how many meals you want to prep. There is a plethora of these online and in your local stores, so find something affordable, easy to clean and store, microwavable and preferably dishwasher safe for your convenience. They sell smaller containers for children too.

If you are opting for plastic containers, make sure they are safe for your health. You want to avoid bisphenol A and phthalates as they interfere with your hormones. Containers made with High-Density Polyethylene, Low-Density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, or Polycarbonate are safe choices.

Your health food store should have safe plastic containers, but always check the ingredients and talk to the store attendants. Glass is a safer choice and usually easier to clean too, but since they can break, you may have to choose plastic at times.

Very Large Plastic Freezer Bags

Freezer bags are awesome for buying food in bulk and then freezing them until you want to use. When you get REALLY into meal planning you may also want to cook large batch recipes and freeze them for later weeks. You can also use frozen fruits and veggies as smoothie ingredients.

How To Choose, Prepare And Store Meal Ingredients

When people think of meal prep, they tend to get overwhelmed with the details! It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure you have the following categories and then you can make them into meals. The benefit of living in the 21st century is that you can find thousands of recipes online at no cost to you.

Tip: just browse or check the recipe section of our website for healthy and nourishing recipes!

You may want to print this handy table that lists the main components of a meal as well as the best ingredients for meal prep (because they last throughout the week, are easy to prepare, are nutrient-dense, etc.).

Ingredient

Best Options

Storage Length

Notes

Protein

Non-vegetarian options: Chicken, turkey, ground beef, salmon, eggs


Vegetarian/vegan options: Beans, lentils, seitan, tofu, black bean burgers, TVP, tempeh, homemade nut loafs

Animal products: Cook or freeze within 2 days of purchase.


Vegetarian/vegan products: You can buy beans and lentils in bulk or in a can. They can last for 2-3 years. Tofu lasts for 3-5 days in your fridge and 3-5 months of your purchase. Fresh tempeh lasts for 1 - 3 days, whereas dried tempeh can last for about 6 months. TVP has a shelf-life of several years. Homemade nut loafs and other vegan meat substitutes can last in your fridge from a few days up to a few weeks, depending on your recipe and in your freezer for several months. For frozen veggie burgers and other meat substitutes, always check the expiration date and shelf life of the particular product once opened.

Carbohydrates

Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, sprouted grain bread

Rice has a shelf life of about 6 months, quinoa about 2-3 years. Sprouted grain bread must be frozen or refrigerated.

Quinoa is tastier if you cook it in vegetable, chicken or beef broth instead of just water. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Fats

Nuts and seeds, olive oil (salad dressing), coconut oil (for cooking), avocado

Nuts and seeds have a 6-9 month shelf life and a 2 year freezer life. Coconut oil has a shelf-life up to 2 years, while olive oil should be used within 6 months. Depending on their ripeness, avocados last for a few days up to a couple of weeks. You want to use ripe avocados for your salads, smoothies and dishes.

Aim to buy raw nuts and seeds and make sure to soak them before using them to allow proper digestion. Roasted nuts don’t have to be soaked, but they are harder on your belly and may include unwanted additives, so read your labels.

Vegetables

Asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, eggplant, carrots, cauliflower, etc.

You can buy fresh or frozen veggies, depending on budget/availability.

Try to buy organic whenever possible. If you can’t afford to shop 100% organic, pay attention to the dirty dozen and clean 15.

Greens

Romaine, kale, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, spring mix, etc.

These you will need to buy fresh every week.

Try to buy organic whenever possible. If you can’t afford to shop 100% organic, pay attention to the dirty dozen and clean 15.

Fruit

Apples, oranges, bananas, berries, clementines, lemon, kiwi, pears, etc.

You can buy fresh or frozen veggies, depending on budget/availability. The shelf-life depends on the particular fruits. Apples, for example, tend to last for a long time - weeks or months even - while berries tend to go faster, often within days.

Freeze your brown bananas for smoothies and banana ice-cream. Frozen berries are great for smoothies. Try to buy organic whenever possible. If you can’t afford to shop 100% organic, pay attention to the dirty dozen and clean 15.

 

Meal Planning For Individuals And Small Families

Don’t be scared. It is easy. Breaking meal planning into TWO levels will help you out with this process.

Level one you will start by simply preparing your daily lunches for a week. This is a great place to start because lunches are simple (especially if you are doing salads!) and you can start to get in the habit of meal prepping once a week without getting super overwhelmed.

Level two you will start to do lunches AND dinners. Feel free to jump to level two if you’ve already done meal prep in the past and feel like you want to hit the ground running.

Also, be sure to check out our Organifi to-go packets! 11 superfoods all packed into one simple drink that you can easily grab on the go. Just mix with water!

Level ONE: Daily Lunches

Why get started with just lunches?

  • This is the meal you’re most likely to be out of the house for or the busiest if you are working from home. Having a meal prepared can save time and hassle. It will ensure that you won’t go hungry either.
  • Going out to lunch can be expensive. Prepping your meals can save you a good chunk of money. Don’t worry, you can still hang out with your friends and colleagues. Encouraging them to meal prep as well can lead to a ripple effect and a fun ‘lunch bunch’ of meal prepping buddies. ‘Lunch bunches’ are great opportunities to exchange recipes or to even share meals.
  • Work can get stressful and busy - it’s easier to just grab easy junk food than to search for a healthy meal. Prepping your meal will keep you nourished and satisfied. Tip: pack some healthy snacks, such as fruits, nuts, homemade granola, veggie sticks with dips to keep you satisfied if you get the munchies later.
  • Prepping your lunches can keep you healthy. Just switching out this meal with a healthy option brought from home can help you have more energy, lose weight, keep your immune system strong and keep your mood up.

Step #1: Pick 1-3 Menu Items

Keep it simple the first week and just do ONE or maybe two different types of lunches. You can always switch up the snacks on the side to add variety. The goal is to get you in the HABIT of meal prepping before we make things too complicated. Don’t worry, you will be prepping all your meals in no time.

Some stores (cough cough Costco or Sam’s Club) have large bags of premade salad mixes. You can buy these and then divide them up into enough containers to last the whole week, add some extra toppings like nuts and seeds, avocado, boiled egg, chicken, etc. and then stick them in the fridge.

Healthy and easy lunch ideas:

  • Salads (tip: jar salads are great)
  • Steamed vegetables with some healthy protein (eg. beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, organic meat)
  • Soups
  • Sandwiches and wraps (try to use sprouted grain breads and wraps)
  • Vegetable wraps (instead of tortilla or another wrap, use a collard leaf, lettuce or dinosaur kale)
  • Spring rolls and sushi
  • Green smoothies
  • Organifi Green Juice

TIP: If you are planning all of your lunches for the entire week, remember that you do not need to eat something different every day. 2-4 different recipes are enough to make 7 delicious lunches for the week. You can eat the same thing 2 or even 3 times a week, just try to space it out.

For example, if your meals are a Hippie Bowl, an Arugula Chicken Salad and a Detox Salad, have the hippie bowl on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, the Arugula Chicken Salad on Thursday and Sunday and the Detox Salad on Tuesday and Friday. You can also change the ingredients around. Make the Arugula Chicken Salad with tofu one day or replace arugula with another green, like spinach or lettuce.

TIP: When meal-prepping salads, never mix the dressing in! Either put it on the bottom or on the top in a little baggie to mix right before you actually eat the salad.

Simple Meal Prep Lunch Ideas

Hippie Bowl

Arugula Chicken Salad

Superfood Salad

Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls

Detox Salad

Strawberry Poppyseed and Bacon Chopped Salad

New York Style Chopped Salad

Tips:

For salads that have no meat, feel free to add shredded chicken breast on top.

Non-vegan dishes can always be veganized. You can replace the meat with tofu, beans, nuts and seeds, for example.

You can make jar salads. They are an excellent lunch option to take with or to eat at home. Check out the secret of making the perfect jar salad.


Step #2: Create A Shopping List And Go Shopping

Creating a shopping list and then going shopping may sound self-explanatory, but if you are unprepared, you may end up spending too much money. Here are a few tips for staying within your budget!

Make a shopping day. Rather than running out for new ingredients several times a week or running to the store last minute before cooking, aim to shop once a week. With time you will be able to make a good shopping list that will help you with this.

Make a weekly/monthly budget. Unless you have limitless funds, set a reasonable budget for how much you want to spend a month on meals. This could vary greatly depending on where you live, what kinds of foods you like, how much income you make, etc.

Buy meat in bulk. When you see a good deal on meat or fish, stock up. If you buy in bulk at the beginning of the month, you can save money in the long run. Just be sure to either freeze or pre-cook meats so that they last longer.

Buy bulk in general. You can buy rice, quinoa, other grains, nuts and seeds, dried fruits and other dried items in bulk. In some stores you can buy large bags of frozen fruits and veggies. Look for deals on canned and jarred items.

Look for deals and compare different stores. Reading the ads and using coupons can save you some bucks. Shopping at different stores and navigating through the weekly deals rather than going to one supermarket can also save you some money if you have time.

Go to the market. Buying fruits and vegetables can be sometimes cheaper at your local farmer’s market. If you go at the end of the market, you can likely get some deals (ask for it!). You can also ask your farmers if they have any items they would throw away otherwise to give you for free or at a very discounted price. Spotty bananas can be frozen or over-ripe tomatoes can be used for pasta sauce.

Plan your meals around foods that are in season. When foods are in season they are much cheaper! Plus there is some evidence to suggest that eating foods in season is beneficial to your body and immune system.

Check your food mood. The weather, the change of season, your personal health, the time of the month (if you are a female), your stress levels, your activity levels and a variety of things can affect your cravings. The thing is that you won’t be eating things you don’t like or don’t want. Plan your dishes and your shopping list based on your cravings, food mood and taste buds. Of course, do this with reason and buy whole foods, not junk. Junk food cravings can mean something else, including food addictions, nutrient deficiencies and underlying emotional issues.

Keep it simple. You don’t need super complicated recipes with billions of ingredients and spices. Buy the basic spices. Buy your favorite spices. Buy combo spices. Search for simple recipes. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a shopping list the size of a college textbook. You will be surprised with the ideas Google comes up with if you search for ‘5-ingredient healthy recipes.’ You’ll be much happier and more likely to stick to your plan if your recipes are simple and delicious.

Use what you have at home. Look into your fridge and pantry and check what you have. There are several websites out there where you can plug in one or a few ingredients you have that will drop you back recipe ideas. Pick a healthy, whole foods recipe you like and only shop for the ingredients you need.

Step #3: Meal Prep

Set aside a day and time that you can do this every week. If you are only doing lunches, then you probably only need to set aside an hour or two tops. If you are doing lunches AND dinners, I would set aside at least 3 hours.

Remember, the time you put in during meal prep is time you DON’T have to spend on making meals during the week!

Cook meat. If you eat meat, it is a good idea to boil chicken and shred it to put on top of salads or in soups. Prep the meat in whatever way your recipe dictates.

Chop up all salad ingredients and add to mason jars or other containers. These jar salads are so handy and fun.

  • Get your jar out.
  • Start with the salad dressing. Pour 1-4 tbsp of your favorite dressing into your jar based on your personal preferences.
  • Next add your harder veggies, including carrots, peppers, cooked beets and cucumber.
  • Move on to your grains, pastas and beans. This is time to add any rice, quinoa, barley, pasta, beans, chickpeas or lentils as you desire.
  • Next it’s time for your protein. This is completely optional, but if you wish, this is the place for cubed tofu and vegan cheese and, if you are not vegan, any organic cheese, fish or meat. If you are not eating your salad the same day, add these the day of consumption.
  • Next, move on to softer veggies and fruits, such as avocados, tomatoes, diced strawberries, apples, or dried fruits. Again, if you are eating this another day, add them the day when you are planning to consume the salad.
  • Next, add any nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews and seeds, such as hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds.
  • Finally it’s time for your greens. Top your jar with lots of greens, such as lettuce, kale, chard or collard greens.
  • Once packed tightly, screw the lid on and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • When you are ready to eat it, just unscrew the lid and shake it out into a bowl or plate. Toss well.

Level TWO: Daily Lunches And Dinners

Start slow. Before jumping into planning all your dinners, plan just one or two dinners. If it helps, plan 1-3 days at first, leaving the rest unplanned. Slowly work yourself up to planning your entire week.

Apply the guide from Level One. The guidelines are the same for both levels, but now you have to get creative with more recipes, planning lunches and dinners. Remember, you should use the same recipe several times a week. You can eat something for dinner once and for lunch on another day.

Plan your night out. Just because you are planning your meals, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a meal or attend a dinner party. If you know that you will be going out for dinner, note it in your plan if possible and cook accordingly. If last minute plans come up, just eat your meal another day or freeze that portion for later.

Healthy and easy dinner ideas:

  • Salads
  • Steamed vegetables with some healthy protein (eg. tofu, beans, lentils, organic meat)
  • Soups
  • Crock pots
  • Quinoa, wild rice and brown rice dishes
  • Baked vegetables and casseroles
  • Spring rolls and sushi
  • Tacos
  • Ethnic dishes

Simple Meal Prep Dinner Ideas

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

Thyroid Balancing Stir-Fry

Chickpea and Vegetable Casserole

Sweet Potato Falafel Bakes (serve it with a salad, vegetables or pita bread)

Eggplant Tacos

Raw Zucchini Pasta

Detox Salad with Quinoa

Chicken Chimichurri with Black Bean and Corn Quinoa

Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna with Cashew Herb Cheese

Tips:

For salads that have no meat, feel free to add shredded chicken breast on top.

Non-vegan dishes can always be veganized. You can replace the meat with tofu, beans, nuts and seeds, for example.


BONUS LEVEL #1: Planning Your Snacks

Keeping snacks in your car, in your purse and at your desk can save you from visiting the vending machine and reaching for junk food. Just prepare them in small zip lock bags and small containers.

Healthy snack ideas:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies sticks with dips, including nut butters, hummus, tahini or salsa
  • Dates, dried figs, raisins, mullberries and other dried fruits (buy natural varieties without added sugar, freeze dried fruits are great too)
  • Nuts and seeds (preferably raw)
  • Trail mixes (make your own or buy organic varieties without sugar or extra junk)
  • Green smoothies
  • Green juice or Organifi Green Juice Powder mixed with water
  • Protein Powder mixed with water or nut milk
  • Homemade granola bars, natural granola bars and energy bars (always check the ingredients to avoid processed sugars and additives)
  • Raw chocolate

Bonus Tips: Drink plenty of water. When you are thirsty, you may think that you are actually hungry. When you feel like having a snack, drink a glass of water first and check back with your tummy again. If you drink water first, you also interrupt the craving process and may stop emotional eating. If you can, keep some herbal teas around. They are hydrating, warming and remedying.

Simple Meal Prep Snack Ideas

Chocolate Chia Nut Butter Bar

Chocolate Cranberry Granola

5-ingredient Granola Bar

Simple Hummus with a Trick

Creamy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

Sweet and Spicey Pumpkin Seed Snack

Allergy-free Chocolate Banana Cookies

Gut Healing Green Smoothie

Fat Burning Green Smoothie

Green Juices


BONUS LEVEL #2: Planning Your Breakfast

Breakfasts may not need to be planned as well, unless you have a very early day and plan to eat at work. However, planning can make your mornings easier without rushing around. It is always beneficial to have a list of healthy and easy breakfast ideas around.

Healthy breakfast ideas:

  • Fruit salads
  • Green juices
  • Green smoothies
  • Homemade and/or natural granolas with nut milk and fruits
  • Chia puddings
  • Oatmeal
  • Scrambled eggs and scrambled tofu
  • GF healthy pancakes
  • Sandwiches and wraps (try to use sprouted grain breads and wraps)

TIP: You can also make breakfast on the go using mason jars.

  • For a fruity oat breakfast, add a cup of steel cut oats into your jar. Next layer some fruits of your choice, for example, in the first layer add some berries, the second layer add some bananas and the third layer some chunks of apples. Leave anywhere from ½ - 2 inches at the top and add some nuts or seeds of your choice. You can add some cinnamon or superfood powder on the top as well. Screw the lid on and take it with you to work. Once you are ready to eat, just add a cup of hot water to your jar and shake well.
  • For jar granolas, first layer any fruits and/or dried fruits of your choice, leaving about 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups of space on the top. Add a cup of homemade granola or organic granola. Add some dates, dried fruits, nuts or seeds of your choice. Sprinkle some cinnamon, cacao or other superfoods on top. Screw the lid on. Once you are ready to eat, just pour it into a bowl and add some nut milk or coconut yogurt of your choice.
  • For a breakfast parfait add your first layer of fruits, such as grapes to the bottom. Add a spoonful of coconut yogurt. Add your second layer fruit, for example, sliced bananas. Add ¼ - ½ cup of muesli or oats or granola. Add a spoonful of yogurt. Add your third layer of fruits, for example, apples. Add a spoonful of yogurt, then top with your last layer of fruits, for example, berries. You can always add some nuts, seeds or superfoods on top. When you are ready to eat, just mix well in the jar or a bowl.

 

Simple Meal Prep Breakfast Ideas

Cleansing Green Smoothie

Gut Healing Green Smoothie

Fat Burning Green Smoothie

Green Juices

Carrot Cake Chia Pudding

Coconut Oatmeal Muffin

Pumpkin Blueberry Pancakes

Chocolate Cranberry Granola

Tips For Success!

Create A Master Recipe List

Create a list of go-to meals. It is just about the easiest way to expedite your meal planning process. You won’t have to sit in front of the cookbook or online inspiration, but you can go to your master list to add to your weekly or monthly plan and fill in the gaps. When you find new meals you love, add them to your list.

Find A Few New Dishes To Try

Make it a goal to try one new recipe once a month at least or once a week at the most. This is a great way to mix up your routine and use your creativity when cooking. Picking a day as an ‘ethnic day’ is a clever and fun way to try new meals from different cultures and to get out of your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself and realize how much you love Thai, Indian, or perhaps Middle Eastern dishes.

Plan Once A Month

When first starting out, you will probably be planning weekly. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to plan your entire month at once. This will save you a lot of time. Creating a nice table on your computer, using a dry erase board or using an app are all great ideas that can help you keep everything organized. Use the method that works the best for you.

Freeze Your Meals Ahead Of Time

If you don’t mind some repetition, you can also just cook twice or three times a month. Cook from your chosen meals the amount that’s enough for 2 or even 3 weeks (eating a dish 1-3 times a week - your choice). Put the portions you will eat in the week into your fridge and put all other portions into your freezer so you can eat them a week or two (or even a month later).

This is also a great idea if you don’t like to eat the same meal twice in a week. Just make 7 different kind of dinners and lunches, 2-3 (or even 4 portions/person) of each meal, put one portion into your fridge and freeze the rest. Having meals frozen will also give you a bit more flexibility on deciding what to eat as it will also help you to eat more based on your desires and taste buds each day.

Save/Repeat

Once you’ve created your first monthly plan, things will become easy as pie. Just save your monthly plan and go back to it next month. If you are in a lazy mood, you can just reuse your plan from last month or the month before. To keep it interesting, just flip-flop a few meals and add a few new recipes or old goodies to your plan.

Review The Last Month

Always think about the previous month, what has worked and what hasn’t. Remove recipes that you didn’t enjoy as much. Allocate more time if you didn’t have enough time to prepare. Change your portion sizes considering if you had lots of leftovers after meals or have found yourself snacking too much between meals.

Bonus Meal Planning Tips For Large Families

So you have one, two, three, four, five… or more… mouths in the home to feed? Does sticking to a healthy diet seem impossible and timely?

One of the BEST things you can do to help you and your family stick to a good, healthy diet is to PLAN AHEAD. Especially when you’re cooking for more than one or two (or three or four… or more!) it can be hard to think of a nutritious meal last minute without any forethought.

To make it more fun, get everyone involved. Hold a family meeting to come up with ideas, shopping lists and meal plans for the following week. This is not only an important skill for you, but one you can pass on to your kids as well!

Who knows, maybe they’ll even take these skills with them when they move out for college!

#1. Choose Your Meal Types

Have 7-10 types of meals written down (kind of like a template) that you make regularly to give you somewhere to start. For example:

Once you have these picked out you can choose how many of each you want to make in a given week (or month if you’re ambitious). It’s easy to pick recipes to use from there.

#2. Focus On Family Favorites

Every family has certain meals that just work for them. Everyone likes the recipe, it’s filling, nutritious, easy to make from things commonly found in your fridge and pantry, etc. Focus your meal planning around these “core” recipes.

As you discover these meals that work exceptionally well for your family, write them down. Try to build up a good list of 15-25 recipes or more. Once you have a list, it is easy to scan through it during meal planning and pick out which meals sound good for the upcoming week.

Once you’ve got that down, try keeping separate lists for each season that includes recipes containing seasonal foods. This will add variety to your kitchen and give the family a reason to look forward to each season. There are a lot of benefits to eating produce while it’s in season, almost like mother nature intended for us to eat it that way (imagine that!).

#3. Shop Smart For Protein  

The priciest items on your shopping list will most likely be the meats and other proteins, especially if you consume animal products. Go for the less-expensive cuts of meats and stretch them out over several meals. If you do this, buying grass-fed, organic meats will likely be less expensive - just be sure to buy quality in order to avoid the yucky hormones and steroids they use in conventional meats.

Buying in bulk also generally gets you a less expensive price per pound. You can cook the meat all at once and freeze it to use later for convenience. You can also use the same type of meat or vegetarian protein source in different ways in different recipes. For example, you can use ground beef or black beans to make lettuce wrap tacos and then on another day use it for homemade lettuce wrap hamburgers. You can use the less-expensive cuts in soups, casseroles, as salad toppings and in stir fries. Leftovers work great for lunches!

If you are shopping for vegetarian and vegan protein options, you have an easier time saving money. If you are vegetarian, eggs can be an affordable option, but make sure to buy organic and free-range varieties.

If you are completely vegan, you still have endless options. Beans and lentils are excellent vegan alternatives that are actually cheap or affordable and you can buy them in bulk.  When shopping for nuts and seeds as protein sources, try to pick raw and organic nuts and seeds when possible. You can buy them in bulk. If you are buying vegan ‘fake meats,’ pick the options with the least ingredients and buy organic. Black bean burgers are a great option. You can also make your own veggie burgers or nut loafs, which are often healthier options.

If you are buying protein powders, pick vegan and preferably raw alternatives if you can with added superfoods for extra nourishment.

#4. Get Creative With Spices

The same meal can be made to taste totally different if you simply mix up the spices. Don’t feel stuck to recipe specifics, become a chef in your own kitchen and get creative!

For example, when cooking tilapia or salmon, or for vegan options, tofu or seitan, you can change up from using one type of spice to another. Cooking tofu or seitan will also heavily rely on the spices you use. Stir fries are also a great area to try different spice blends. You can make something spicy, mild, tangy and sweet or even sour, based on the type of spices and seasoning you use.

This enables you to use a lot of similar meals, but still have variety and keep the kids guessing. It also helps if you can only think of one thing to cook that night, but it’s something you’ve had recently and you want to change it up.

#5. Dive Into Other Cultures

Every week, have at least one night where you try a different cuisine from another country. With the internet being such an incredible resource, you can find hundreds of recipes from around the world by simply picking up your phone or setting the laptop on the kitchen counter.

This can be made into a fun activity to look forward to for everyone in the family. You might even find some meals that end up on your “core meal” list.

Try Asian, European, Middle Eastern, African, South-, Central- and North-American, Australian and New Zealand dishes alike. There are so many countries and cultures to choose from. You will soon discover your favorite exotic cuisines.

#6. Remember: You’re Not A Short Order Cook

One of the best things you can do for your children is give them a wide variety of foods to eat and not let them always shrink away from things that look different or scary. They don’t have to like everything you make, but they should at least be willing to try it. If they hate it, they can eat more of the side dishes or pick out the parts they don’t like.

This is a good way to ensure that you don’t raise super picky eaters. Granted, some kids will choose to be picky no matter what you try to feed them while they’re young. But at least they will know how to eat healthy and understand variety.

Unless completely necessary, try not to feed the young ones different foods from what the rest of the family is eating. If they aren’t used to chicken nuggets, juice, fruit snacks, lots of bread, cereal and sweets, then they won’t ask for them as alternatives.

#7. Use Your Leftovers!

Beyond making some simple salads for the week, you will rarely have to put any planning efforts into lunches. This is because you can make enough dinner so that the leftovers can be taken for lunch the next day. This is an easy way to save time in the kitchen and will usually be a lot healthier than a PB&J or takeout!

Soups, casseroles and stir-fries are easy to carry over into lunches. You can also use leftover meat or meat alternatives from meals to top salads with.

Try to use glass tupperware or mason jars for leftovers that need to be reheated.

Sample 1-Week Meal Plan

Here are some of our favorite meals to try for your upcoming week! You’ll have to let us know if any of these become family favorites. :)

Monday: Greek Quinoa Salad

Tuesday: Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Wednesday: White Bean And Spinach Soup

Thursday: Lemon And Garlic Shrimp With Broccoli

Friday: Mushroom Spinach “Risotto” With Quinoa

Saturday: Balsamic Rosemary Chicken With Baked Cauliflower

Sunday: Lettuce Wrap Burgers

For more awesome recipes and meal planning ideas, try our Organifi Complete Detox Plan.

Once kids are old enough to start cooking, you can write the recipes down for the week’s meals on index cards and put them on the fridge. These come in handy for when you’re making a shopping list later on.

In Summary

Preparation is the key to success! Although it might feel like it takes more time, in reality, you’re going to save a lot of time and hopefully, save some money too when you pre-plan your meals.

Putting in the work to eat healthy will pay off in every way possible. People don’t realize how much more fulfilling their lives can be once they start feeling better and living with more energy and vitality. Health is a foundation to a happy, long life!

Do you have any other meal planning tips? Share them in the comments below so we can all learn from you.

No juicer? No problem! Organifi Green Juice is a carefully selected blend of 11 different superfoods including turmeric, spirulina, lemon, mint, moringa and more. It was formulated for busy women and men who are looking for a way to super boost their health and support their lifestyle without spending a lot of time or money in the kitchen. Try it today!




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Fresh Tomato Salsa With Organifi Is A Must For Your Summer
Fresh Tomato Salsa With Organifi Is A Must For Your Summer

If you are looking for a new tomato salsa recipe, you must try this healthy, fresh tomato salsa.

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You Will Fall In Love With This Avocado Hummus
You Will Fall In Love With This Avocado Hummus

This avocado hummus is literally the best hummus you will ever have - or the best avocado? Either way, it’s a must try!

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Cookies can be delicious AND healthy for you. Just try these Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies.

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