January is a month full of new beginnings, fresh starts and for many a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. At Glean, we are firm believers in clean, healthy meals prepared in a way that is sustainable and allows you to enjoy spending time with your family without hours of slaving in the kitchen.
We have had the privilege of getting to know Mary Ellen Phipps, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Owner of Milk & Honey Nutrition who is sharing with us 3 Tips for Family Meal Planning. Mary Ellen is an expert in family nutrition and family meal planning among many other things. She is a working mother of two (one of her little ones even makes an appearance in her video below!) and also Type 1 Diabetic. She wholly lives and understands the importance and benefits of developing a healthy attitude about food and offers endless recipes, services & meal planning resources on her website.
1. Take Inventory: Look in your pantry, refrigerator & freezer to assess what your normal staples and favorites are. This will help you know what you are buying and what your family tends to enjoy eating.
Most families have about 15-20 meals or variations of meals that they cycle and regularly prepare. This is a great place to start in order to get a handle on the types of meals you can begin to plan on that will easily implement into your existing family life.
2. Prepare Ahead: Start by planning your dinners based on your inventory and family meal trends. You can add in breakfast meals as well and typically eat leftovers and easy items for lunches.
Look at your plan for the week and see exactly what you could do ahead of time. It may be chopping vegetables, cooking meats or portioning items out in containers. Taking time upfront to relieve any extra work when it comes time to cook will save valuable time that you can spend elsewhere. It's completely worth the initial investment of your time to organize and prep ahead.
3. Convenience is Key: When it comes to your kitchen and cooking meals, what can you do to make it the most effective and efficient for you? Printing out recipes to avoid getting electronics dirty or the screen locking when you have food all over your hands? Maybe moving your trash can to a place that makes more sense when prepping and cooking. Rearrange your cooking utensils, cutting boards and spices for ease of access.
Cook meals that foods that you know you enjoy, NOT things that you hope to enjoy. And remember: give yourself grace! This takes time but once you get in the routine, it's well worth the time and effort.
Check out the full tip video from Mary Ellen and make sure to scroll to the end - she has a Healthy Meal Planning Meal Bundle (available through January 5th!) on her site with 1,000's of recipes, e-books and plans that will save you so much time and energy.
One last chance - visit Milk and Honey Nutrition by clicking the image below to download the great resources available through this Friday, January 5th. The Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is the perfect start to a stress-free and delicious January! And of course she recommended adding our sweet potato, pumpkin or beet flours & powders into your dishes for added flavor and nutrition!