Healthy and Organized Meal Planning for 2012

Healthy and Organized Meal Planning for 2012

The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM member Toni Patton.

As a mom of three, being organized is important. I am not the most organized person in the world, this is true. However one of the areas in my life that has to have some sort of organization is meal time, mainly dinner for us.

We are in the middle of a break from sports season right now so I have a little more breathing room for a few months. Sports or not, it’s key for me to be have a schedule down so when something does get thrown into the mix I don’t get caught off guard. Sure the time will have to be flexible, but meal planning is the key to keeping my sanity. Without meal planning there is always the “What’s for dinner?” question and if nothing is planned it makes my sanity run for the hills.

Here are a few tips I use for meal planning that save my sanity even if my schedule has to be altered:

● Keep regular ingredients always on hand (spices, flour, sugar, meats, rice and bread). It makes your shopping time less if you pick up the pantry necessities regularly.

● Have “fall back” recipes so if you are looking for an easy week of meal making you will be ready. For us, it’s baked chicken, tacos or spaghetti. Those are meals I can throw together in a pinch (I keep the ingredients on hand) if needed.

● Plan accordingly. If you know you are going to have a ball game during the time you are usually cooking make that night a crock pot or cold cut sandwich night.

● When making your shopping list, write out the meals for that week (or month depending on how often you shop). Having a list of what you are going to eat over X amount of days helps tremendously. Look at it in the morning and take out what you will need for that night’s dinner.

A lot of us want to get a little healthier this year and sometimes that’s hard to do. Here are some tips for striving toward a healthier 2012. Write them down in your myAgenda mini:

● Swap out that beef for ground turkey when making tacos or spaghetti.

● Make time for yourself daily. If you make time for you, chances are you will want to take care of yourself through better eating habits, exercise, etc. The last thing you are going to want do is work-out if you only take one hour a month for yourself. If you regularly make time for yourself it won’t seem like such a sacrifice to spend some of your “me” time making yourself healthier.

● Toss the can and eat fresh. It doesn’t have to be for every meal, gosh knows ours isn’t. Start swapping out canned fruit or veggies for fresh. Start small and who knows, eventually it may be “clean” eating for every meal.

● Reward yourself. If you completed that 4 mile run you have been wanting to or went X amount of days with no processed sugars treat yourself to a little something! The best way for me to reach a goal is to have a prize in mind for myself when I reach it.

2012 is going to be a great year and the best way to get healthy and make meal time easier is to plan. Not only is it going to be a healthier year for my family but definitely a more organized one.

What about you, do you have tips for organized meal planning for a more healthy 2012?

Toni is a member of the Council of Media Moms. Sharing stories about parenting, life and everything in between you can find her on A Daily Dose of Toni. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.