Let me set the scene. You get home after a busy day. The kids are tired and haven’t stopped squabbling since you picked them up. There’s washing to put away, ironing to do and the entire contents of the lego box have been emptied in the middle of the floor. Somehow amidst this carnage you still need to make dinner. And there it is. The million pound question. What on earth should you make? Decisions, decisions…
Making Life That Little Bit Easier with Meal Plans
When you’re already frazzled, deciding what to feed everyone at the end of a day – particularly when you have fussy eaters like I do – can be quite stressful. The focus is always getting the food on the table as quickly as possible. It’s why we take shortcuts – and can I just say here, there’s nothing wrong with takeaways or beans on toast for dinner from time to time. Nobody’s judging! But I’ve found that what helps me as a working mum is planning out my meals in advance.
Meal Planning is not as Scary as it Sounds.
I do meal plans because I want to be able to feed my family healthily and on a budget. Also I want to be able to bang the meal out as quickly as possible without spending ages each time working out what to cook. If I didn’t plan, I would struggle to do this. I want to show you how easy it is to plan delicious, nutritious gluten free meals which save you money and your sanity. Over the weeks I’ll be adding more recipes for batch cooking such as vegetable packed bolognese and everyday soups.
My Gluten Free Meal Planning Top Tips
- Do it over the weekend Plan on Friday, shop on Saturday, prep on Sunday.
- Decide how many meals to plan for 5 days is most common. What do you need those meals to do? E.g. if your child has a gym class one evening, you might consider a slow cooker recipe.
- Start with your family favourites The things you all really love to eat.
- Choose meals that bless you with leftovers: They’re the gift that keeps on giving.
- Shop your home kitchen Have a root through your store cupboards, freezer and fridge and try to include what you find into your meal plan. This will save you ££’s and avoid food waste.
- Cook what you know + 1 new We all get stuck in food ruts, especially if we have fussy eaters (a whole different topic). I’d recommend adding in one dish a week to challenge your family’s eating habits. Maybe have a back up just in case.
- Think in 3 week rotations They say variety is the spice of life and you don’t want to get stuck in a hamster wheel repeating the same meals every week. Mixing it up ensures you hit different food groups, which means you get a good range of nutrients.
- Go seasonal A winter meal plan should look very different to a summer meal plan. Using fruit and veg when in season is not only cheaper but also tastier. If you buy in bulk, you can prep leftovers and stick in the freezer to use at a later date.
- Hit the 7 a day If you have coeliac disease or similar, it’s harder to absorb nutrients and so you need to up your fruit & veg intake to compensate. I aim for 10 a day, but 7 is a good starting point. A simple bowl of soup (prepare in advance to make life easier) could count for 4.
Are you ready to get going? To start planning your meals, grab my free weekly meal planning template below