Parents have been always at odds with meal preparation, a long lasting battle that seems to carry for generations and its frustrating effects seems to magnify in this time when different demands pull us in all directions letting us with no time to take care of what it should be a simple chore.
Parents who have the responsibility of providing meals have to deal with these questions almost every single day:
Things started to change, when finally parents realized that there was a better way to deal with all this frustration:
Meal planning changed the game giving busy parents the upper hand. Nothing beats meal planning when it comes to giving parents the advantages to succeed in meal preparation.
Meal planning gives you the advantages of achieving your meal preparation objectives, controlling your expenses, having convenience, being more productive, being more efficient, having peace of mind and improving your cooking skills.
Meal planning simplifies the meal preparation process for you, from what to eat, what to buy, how to cook and more, allowing you achieve your meal preparation related objectives.
Whether you have a goal to have a healthy diet, save time, save money or just provide new meals to your family, meal planning gives you a superior position, allowing you to take control of the meal preparation process and achieve your end goals.
For instance, a study with 40,554 French adults showed that a total of 57% of the participants declared to plan meals at least occasionally as a tool to offset time scarcity and encourage home meal preparation.
When it comes to meal preparation meal planning plays in your favor.
If you want to start preparing more healthy meals at home, meal planning is definitely a must.
By meal planning you also have the advantage of controlling your meal preparation expenses.
You gain control of how much you spend in groceries and how much you cook.
Meal planning helps you determine in advance how much you will spend in groceries, but also helps you buy only the necessary and avoid buying ingredient you will never use.
Also, meal planning helps you choose meals your family likes and therefore will consume. This is key to reducing waste and therefore reduce expenses.
You will be surprised by how much you can save, simple strategies like planning food spending in advance or tracking grocery purchases every now and then can go a long way.
If you are a parent looking to save money while still providing healthy meals you are better off planning your meals.
One more advantage of meal planning is convenience.
Meal planning is particularly useful to organize all food preparation activities, making it easier for you to enjoy healthy meals at home. The fact of having all your food preparation activities planned in advance gives you the advantage during the week when it is time to cook.
You may think meal planning takes a lot of effort, but that’s far from true; with just a little thought and consistency you can make cooking more convenient.
Once you are used to have a list of meals you can prepare on a weekly basis or have a grocery shopping list to help you save time at the shop or have the exact list of ingredients to help you reduce waste, even if you have to invest few minutes a week to plan, you will ask how you did not start planning your meals earlier.
The conveniences of meal planning will make you change your point of view and make other less convenient options unthinkable.
Productivity is another huge advantage of meal planning.
Small steps in meal planning can gradually add up to significant changes in productivity.
How you make the most of your time preparing meals?
Spend a small time once or two times a weeks to have all well-planned and you will increase your productivity.
Think about it, over half (54%) of Americans engage and spend 61.5 minutes in food preparation on an average day. (Sources: American Time Use Survey and Eating and Health Module data), that is over 7 hours a week just in food preparation, not to mention the time it takes to shop the groceries.
Meals play an important role in our family’s health and we should put the necessary time to prepare them, but that doesn’t mean that our time should not be productive.
Your ability to be more productive at preparing meals at home depends on how well you can plan in advance, whether it’s for one week or two.
Try one aspect of meal planning to start with, and keep adding more as you find what works best for you.
Efficiency is another advantage that is widely experienced by parents who plan their meals.
Meal planning has the capacity to reinvent your daily routine making you more efficient in meal preparation.
One of meal planning core principles is simplicity, and it plays in different aspect of meal preparation, more than you might think.
For instance, having a repeatable and organized way to schedule your meals, adopting a controlled approach to try new recipes, reducing and tracking grocery expenses, having all meals scheduled for two weeks on a single plan, and more.
Meal planning is designed to make you more efficient and it is not a rigid approach, rather it is flexible and adaptable to your life style, preferences and needs. You plan based on what is best for you and your family.
As you can see, there are different sides of meal planning that make it easier to unlock more efficiency in meal preparation.
Ask yourself what key aspect of meal planning you can start practicing to be more efficient.
Meal planning gives parents more peace of mind, and an advantage like this is priceless.
When it is time to cook at home, parents want to know that there is always food options and ingredients to prepare their food, after long hours working the least they need is a frustrating experience improvising a meal the family will not enjoy or what is worst, an unhealthy food.
For instance, wouldn’t it be great to experience a week when you have all the ingredients you need to prepare in no time healthy food you and your family will enjoy?
Well, it is possible. Obviously we all have different circumstance and different level of skills when it comes to cooking our food.
But we can all take an approach to make things simpler and this is particularly needed when time is scarce.
With meal planning, you can rest assured that you will simplify your meal preparation, you will feel more in control, even though it could take you a small effort to make it a routine, but after all, who can put a price on peace of mind?
Yes, by meal planning you can also gain better cooking skills.
Meal planning is not just about deciding what to cook or creating a grocery list, the advantages meal planning provides expands further than that.
Meal planning allows you to improve your cooking skills in a progressively and controlled manner.
What that means is that a meal prepared at home could be saving you between $500 to $800 a year per person.
Let’s see three clear examples how meal planning can help you improve your cooking skills.
As you can see, when you plan your meals you are creating an environment where you have the control of trying new recipes, but also you are able to incorporate lessons of previous plans into the next ones.
The better your cooking skills the greatest the advantage you will have and the easiest it will become to prepare meals at home.
It pays to set aside some time every one or two weeks to plan your meals.
When it comes to preparing healthy meals at home, the advantages you gain by meal planning will set you up for success.
Meal planning has great practical and wellness advantages and now that you understand them you can start thinking about a simple meal planning approach that works for you and your family so you can also enjoy its benefits.