This time of year a lot of families are focused on fresh and healthy eating. We all see and hear of the Whole30 and sugar detoxes, which help us refocus our eating habits to more wholesome and fresh foods. But the real question is, how can one save time in the kitchen when making all this fresh food? The answers and more are inside these meal planning tips.
If you are already doing one of these programs, keep up the great work! If you tried to but got worn out in the kitchen after week 3 because you found yourself making multiple meals for your family, check out the Family Kickstart Program. The recipes are kid approved, they cut out gluten, grains, dairy, processed foods, and sugar, and the program comes complete with shopping lists, meal prep tips, meal plans, and all the recipes needed.
No matter program you are on, or you are just trying to eat healthier, we can all agree that one major challenge is getting all the fresh foods prepared so you can make the meals you planned.
Today, I want to share with you some of my meal prep tips that I use to feed my family of 5 fresh foods every day!
Thankfully most programs come with the recipes, but every now you might need to swap a recipe. My go-to resources are grain-free cookbooks. In particular, my Grain Free Cookbook, which is filled with family-friendly meals, a few of which are included in our Family Kickstart Program’s Recipe Guide.
Another option is Pinterest, but that is dangerous since a simple ten-minute scroll can turn into 2 hours of browsing leaving you dazed and recipe-less.
Choosing the right recipes for your family is a key component in keeping everyone on board as well as sticking to the program. I usually look for meals that are kid-friendly and well balanced. Some recipes might need a little adjusting, but that’s perfectly fine since the overall goal is to make one meal that everyone can and will want to eat.
After completing your meal map, take a look at the recipes and see what things can be prepared ahead of time. Pre-chopping veggies, making marinades, boiling eggs, and bagging veggies and fruits for snacks, are all great ways to start ahead.
Once you have the plan, you will need to create a shopping list. Our Family Kickstart comes with both the Meal Map and Shopping List for each week, saving you even more time. However, if you are using a different program just write down all the items, you will need.
With meal map and shopping list in hand, its time to shop! Make sure to set aside time for grocery shopping; this is one step you don’t want to do in a rush. Since you want to avoid multiple shopping trips in the week, the majority of your items will be purchased at once.
You will be eating A LOT of fresh produce, and I have found that buying the pre-cut options saves a lot of time, especially on those weeks where I know my family will be extra busy. Many grocery stores offer spiralized veggies, such as squash and zucchini as well as riced cauliflower, allowing you to skip those steps and still be prepared for meal time!
Buying frozen fruits and veggies is also an easy, cheap and great time-saver. They are often picked, washed, pre-cut, and frozen at peak ripeness, which means fresh produce all year around! I’ll use the veggies for a stir-fry, in soups, or fajitas while the fruit is tossed into smoothies or eaten as is, making a refreshing, healthy snack!
When it comes to protein, purchasing a cooked rotisserie chicken has been one of the biggest time savers! Use them to make lunches like my Southern Chicken Salad or Greek Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups!
As soon as you get home from the grocery store, I recommend you start prepping all items in your planner. Why? With all the planning and shopping you are in the mindset to “get things done”! From personal experience, I find that if I wait for later, not everything gets done. At first, this process will take a bit more time in the kitchen then what you are used to, but as you stay consistent you will get faster!
Staying prepared is the key to succeeding in any program! Make sure to check out the video above for more tips. And if you are interested eliminating gluten, dairy, processed foods, and sugars for your family for 30 days, check out the Family Kickstart Program.
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