6 Pack 6 Tips: Meal Planning Made eas(ier)

As a mom of six children, I know how challenging it can be to put healthy meals on the table every day. I want to encourage you that with a little planning every week it is possible to feed your family good, hearty and healthy meals.  Here are some strategies to get you started:
1.   Plan your week in advance.  I always take the grocery sales flyers from the Sunday newspaper, along with all my favorite cookbooks, a calendar to write in, and my planner.  I mark days that are especially busy and make sure that those days are the days I use my trusty ole’ crockpot.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  For each day plan out every meal including your snacks.  Have another sheet of paper next to you to slowly put together your shopping list.  As you add a meal, add the ingredients you need to your shopping list.
2.  Use your crockpot.  If it has been years since you’ve used this gem, drag it out of storage and dust it off because this thing is likely to become your best friend.  There are a lot of cookbooks out there for the crockpot.  The one that my family loves is The Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Jyl Steinbeck.  She claims to be America’s Healthiest Mom.  Hmmm…I’d like to contend for that title.  LOL 
3.  Prepare meals in advance.  This has been said before so I can’t claim it as my own jewel, but simply making some meals in advance and freezing them really can help.  I like to take whole bags of frozen chicken breast and throw them in a pan, cover with foil, toss them in the oven and cook until nice and tender.  Then I divide them in separate containers for 3 days worth and freeze the rest individually in freezer bags.  This has come in handy so many times.  
4.  Precut your veggies.  This makes salads a cinch during the busy week.  When you get home from the grocery store, wash, cut and store your veggies.  You can wash your salad greens with a salad spinner.  They sell these at dollar stores and you get a nice arm workout at the same time.  Store the greens in the fridge in a large plastic container and take out the amounts you need throughout the week.
I hope this gets your creative juices flowing.  Cooking healthy does not need to be difficult, but you must plan ahead.

Now get out there and do it!


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