It is true that not only new moms sometimes struggle to plan meals to eat healthier for themselves, but often have the added pressure of creating a daily meal, 3 times a day for their entire family. Time and options can contribute to the stress of trying to figure out what to create every single day.
That is why meal planning is growing in popularity. It is a tool aimed to serve to plan for the week, each week, for all your meals and snacks.
I have put together some tips that I personally found useful around meal planning for myself, and my family:
- Identify your biggest challenge: Is it breakfast, is it dinner, is it feeding the kids, or is it snack options? It is ok to have multiple challenges, but identifying and taking the time to find out what the struggle is, is half the battle. Once you have that figured out can you start to create a plan to tackle that challenge.
- Always create a shopping list: Trying to wing it at the grocery store often results in guesswork later in the week when trying to create the actual meals. If you have some meals in mind that you want to make that week, put together an ingredient list so you are prepared.
- Ensure you have fresh options stocked: Perishable items need to be replenished, which can be work, but it is doable. If you have it available and in a visible area (such as a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter), you are more likely to grab it and do something with it.
- Eat what you like: Don’t be extreme if that isn’t your style. Meal planning won’t work, and won’t stick if you are choosing what you think you should eat vs. what you actually will eat. There are healthy alternatives to almost anything, talk to someone to find out what some alternatives may be.
- Do not forget to include hydration as a part of your daily consumption: Food is vital, but so is water or hydrating drinks. Often thirst is confused for hunger, ensuring you have hydration options through the day will help in major ways.
These are some key elements, of course I can go on and on…but I hope you can take something away here that will make it a bit easier to start tackling those healthy eating goals.