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How to Make a 7 Day Family Meal Plan

How to Make a 7 Day Family Meal Plan - Proline Range Hoods

Cooking for a family can be a daunting task. It takes a lot of planning and can be stressful if you don’t know how to make a 7 day family meal plan. Also, it’s important that you cook healthy meals for your family. Buying prepared foods and going to fast food joints may be a convenient way to feed your family, but it’s not the healthiest option. It’s not imperative that you cut out all processed foods and prepared foods entirely, but do not rely on them to create your family meal plan.

Instead, it’s best if you can find healthy recipes to make. Maybe these come from a friend or colleague who has been cooking for their family for years. Or perhaps your parents made nutritious recipes that you loved when you were a kid. Or just hop on your phone or computer. There are so many recipe blogs and other resources online. YouTube can walk you through thousands of healthy yummy dishes. They’re easy to find and they’re everywhere!

If you’re struggling to find recipes that you love, we have several nutritious ones in our detailed guide on how to make healthy meals for your family.

Learning recipes takes time and you may be looking for an immediate solution. With all the other things you have to worry about when raising a family, it’s not surprising that you may overlook healthy meals. After all, eating out is so easy today with all the fast-food restaurants, diners, and fancy dine-in establishments out there.

But, making a 7-day family meal plan is a great place to start. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Invest in a meal planner from Amazon or pull out a simple notebook where you’ll record every meal for the week.
  2. Start by breaking down each day into three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  3. Fill out the list as best you can with 21 meals. If you don’t have enough recipes, browse them online or ask family and friends!
  4. Now that you have your recipes for the week, create your shopping list. If you are having the same meal more than once, be sure to buy more of the ingredients.
  5. Next week, repeat this process. Continue to add recipes and move the schedule around for some variety!

How do I plan meals for a week?

1. Invest in a meal planner from Amazon or pull out a notebook where you can record a week’s worth of meals.

You have a lot of freedom to design your planner how you see fit. I recommend making a table that separates out every day of the week. For each day, write out breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then fill out what you want to eat for each of them.

Then, create a separate section labeled “Grocery List” where you’ll write down what you need from the store.

2. Start by breaking down each day into three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Three meals a day is the minimum you’ll want to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But, let’s be honest: most people will eat more than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Luckily, your meal plan can include a couple of snacks throughout the day and the occasional dessert as well. The main thing you’ll want to pay attention to is calories per day. Depending on your size and activity level, you may need more or less daily calories.

3. Fill out the list as best you can with all 21 meals. If you don’t have enough recipes, browse them online or ask family and friends!

This is where the fun begins! Be sure to eat before you begin this step; otherwise, you will get really hungry! Now you get to choose delicious meals that you and your family love. Think about what the kids will like and what you like and balance out your meal plan with different types of recipes.

YouTube is a great resource to find different meals too. There are thousands of creators out there with great recipes for you to try.

You don’t have to love every recipe; maybe cook one that your daughter loves but that isn’t your favorite – so long as it is a healthy dish.

You can repeat recipes too! Variety is great, but you don’t need to lose sleep over it, especially if you’re just beginning to learn how to make healthy meals. To start, try and include a nice balance of grains, fruits, and veggies, dairy, and protein in each meal.

Eating the same thing every day may be boring, but for breakfast and lunch, you can get away with it. Oatmeal and eggs every morning works just fine. Do you make your own chicken salad for lunch? That sounds delicious. As long as the dish is healthy and balanced, you don’t have to worry as much about how often you’re eating it.

How to Make a 7 Day Family Meal Plan - My Plate Breakdown
https://www.choosemyplate.gov/resources/myplate-graphic-resources

But dinner is likely where you’ll want the most variety. Sure, you can have spaghetti twice a week, but try to vary the meals as best you can. After all, you want to cook food that will keep everyone happy.

4. Now that you have your recipes for the week, create your shopping list. If you are having the same meal more than once, be sure to buy more of the ingredients.

This step is easy to plan. Just make a section for your shopping list, go through each recipe, and write down the ingredients.

Consider breaking up your list into sections for meat and veggies and bread and canned foods and others. This way, you can write down all the items that are in each section and know that as you move through the store, you’ll have everything you need. You won’t have to go back for something you missed.

With all the demands of a family, you may not have time to go shopping every single week. Consider shopping for two to three weeks at a time so that you can save time. It might take a little more time upfront, but will be worth it and save you lots of time in the end.

5. Next week, repeat this process. Continue to add recipes and move the schedule around for some variety!

Each week, move your meals around so you don’t eat the same thing every Tuesday, for example.

You can also do the opposite and make one night “spaghetti night” or “burgers night” to give the kids something to look forward to!

Listen to your family too. If they love a recipe you make, that’s great. This can be a consistent staple for you in future meal plans. If a recipe didn’t go right, maybe try a different one or avoid that food in the future.

Hopefully these five tips on how to make a 7-day meal plan will help make cooking feel a little less daunting and stressful. When you’re first starting out, make little goals for yourself. Try and learn a new recipe or two every week. Maybe get your partner or the kids involved in cooking to make it more enjoyable. Follow a couple of popular food blogs...there’s a lot of ways to make cooking enjoyable.

Healthy cooking and meal planning are learning processes, so if you don’t have a ton of healthy recipes to choose from, you don’t need to worry. They will come in time. Don’t feel ashamed if you need to eat out a little bit more or buy a few prepared meals as you start this process. Meal planning will become easier and easier as the weeks go by.

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