So you’ve decided to do a whole 30 meal plan with the WHOLE FAMILY. No, you’re not the only one and yes, it is totally doable! Whether you are in search of a complete meal plan or simply want a few kid-approved Whole 30 recipes to incorporate in your weekly dinners, I’ve got you covered, but first, let’s dive into the details and tips.
Creating a Whole 30 meal plan for the family
Meal planning for a Whole 30 isn’t that different from a regular meal plan, only no packaged goods or grains and nothing that is made with sugars, preservatives, and fillers.
This is not as scary as it sounds and you’ll still enjoy each meal all while feeling better and more energetic. If you want to see a free sample of what my Whole30 meal plan and ingredients look like for my family, get it here.
Here are a few tips to help you and your family succeed at the Whole30:
Plan family meals together
Doing the Whole30 as a family is an effective way to implement both short and long term changes that will help you reach your overall health goals. That’s why I made a new version of the 30-day whole eating program, with the entire family in mind. It’s called the Family KickStart Program, and you can get more details about how it works here.
Since the whole family is included it’s only fair that everyone especially kids get to be a part of selecting meals. Including them in this step will help keep them motivated and excited to try out the new recipes. Plus, my kids always want me to tell you, we’ve even included 2 pancake recipes for you to choose from.
We all know kids can’t go without their favorite foods for 30 days and including recipes that they already love while making smart ingredient swaps that eliminate the processed foods makes Family KickStart the best way to eat whole food as a family.
Aside from having recipes they love, here’s how to make meal planning fun and easy for the whole family:
Set aside time-
At the beginning of the week, take some time, usually 1 hour, to plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the upcoming week. I highly suggest you do this BEFORE grocery shopping and after you’ve had a good pantry purge (more on that later).
If you are using Family KickStart program, I do a lot of this work for you. But you’ll still want to go over everything with the kids, and let them help select which recipes they want on which days, and if they want to double up on something they are especially excited about.
The program is extremely flexible, so you can stick to the meal plans exactly as I’ve laid them out, or accommodate requests from the kids. Whatever gets them involved and excited about eliminating processed foods for the month!
Recreate Family Favorites
If your kids have a few favorite recipes, try finding a new way to serve it that will fit into the Whole30 requirements without sacrificing flavor. Who said pizza sauce and pepperoni should only be served on a crust? Why not over baked chicken or sliced zucchini for a mini pizza? Swap the rice in their favorite stir fry for cauliflower rice, noodles for zucchini noodles. There’s so much you can do to get them on board.
Plan on ONE meal
That is, per breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of the main reasons I recommend one meal for the whole family is it encourages kids to try new things. Being a short order cook and making separate meals to please everyone is a quick way to burn out, and seriously, who has time for that?
A quicker workaround – make sure each meal has at least one item everyone will like, whether it’s a side dish or the entree. This will help keep everyone happier at the table, and you won’t have to spend all evening in front of the stove.
Whether it’s setting the table, tossing the salad, or if they’re older, chopping veggies, including the kids in the process of choosing and preparing the meals not only teach them healthy eating habits, they’ll also be a little more excited to try the new recipes and dishes. To get started, place them in charge of creating one or two snacks for the whole week.
Clean out the pantry
Nothing will keep your family more motivated to eat and stick the plan than cleaning your kitchen, pantry, and fridge of all temptations. Keeping those chips, sodas, candy, and snack cakes out of the house is the best way to avoid eating them.
Snack time is the most important part of the day for kids, so I’ve included lots of kid-approved snack ideas in the Family KickStart program as well.
I know they’re good because even my picky eaters ask me to make the KickStart snacks long after we’re done with the 30-day program.
If you’re doing the meal planning and meal prep, check out this video where I’ll show you some meal prep hacks to save you time. I do this while working full time and homeschooling 3 kids. Proof that it doesn’t have to take you hours of work every week to implement the plan.
Whole 30 Shopping List
You will definitely be spending a lot more of your grocery shopping time in the produce section for the next 30 days, but with a good Whole30 meal plan in place, there is no concern about any of it going to waste.
Below you’ll find the biggest changes in a regular grocery shopping list vs. a Whole30 shopping list:
Instead of rice, wheat, sandwich bread, pasta and wraps you’ll find butternut squash, sweet potato, and cauliflower rice, plus endless amounts of fresh vegetables and some fruit. Your fridge will look like #fridgegoals and your whole family will feel amazing, it’s a win-win!
When it comes to protein, swap the prepackaged deli meat, pre-made burgers, fish sticks, breaded chicken nuggets with fresh cuts of beef, pork, chicken and turkey, as well as seafood, and eggs.
Orangic and grass-fed meats are the best choices, but if that’s stretching the budget go for the regular it’s still a step above the processed options and you can feel good about putting it on your table.
Condiments can be little sneaky since many are hidden with sugar and additives so it’s best to stick to these few staples:
Whole30 approved condiments
- Coconut oil
- Ghee or clarified butter- https://thrivemarket.com/p/thrive-market-organic-ghee
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
- Mayonnaise- whole 30 compliant, I like this one
- Almond butter
- Coconut aminos- sub for soy sauce
- All the herbs and spices you could ever want
Whole 30 approved foods
Instead of going over what you can’t have, let’s take a look at everything you CAN eat on a Whole 30, it’s a huge list!:
- Vegetables! All of them, even potatoes!
- Fruit- Whole30 and Family Kickstart both aim to reduce your sugar intake sp while fruit is allowed, it should be eaten in moderation. Fruit is natural and healthy but it still contains more sugar than vegetables.
- Meats and seafood-
Fresh and unprocessed only. Items like sliced turkey and ham should be selected with caution since many contain fillers and sugars (shocker, I know), this brand is Whole 30 approved and one I enjoy using. Sausage is okay but make sure it contains no added sugars or other preservatives.
Whether scrambled, poached, fried, baked, or hard-boiled, eggs help build some tasty breakfasts, lunches, and even dinners, hello Shakshuka!
You can still enjoy your cup o’ joe but be sure to skip the milk products and sugar. Replace the usual cream with almond or coconut milk and you’ll still be able to start your day right – with a cup of coffee in hand!
- Fats and Oils-
Olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee will be your best friends. Nuts and nut butter are approved but don’t go overboard, it’s best to serve them as mealtime accompaniment.
Whole 30 Meal Plan Template
If you’re looking for a way to implement these Whole 30 changes but don’t have the bandwidth to come up with meal ideas, much less find recipes that are whole 30 meal plan compliant, the Family Kickstart is the perfect way to get you started.
Below are a few recipes for each meal you can select from to help you get started.
Whole 30 Meal Ideas
Whole 30 Dinner Ideas:
It’s the Whole30 approved version of my Pulled pork carnitas tacos! Made in the slow cooker for an easy and incredible meal. Leftovers are great on salads or cauliflower rice for a homemade burrito bowl.
Egg Roll in a Bowl-
Everything we all love about egg rolls, minus the crunchy shell and energy crash half an hour later.
One pan, simple, and whole 30 comfort food at it’s best.
Shrimp Fried Rice-
Swap regular rice for cauliflower rice and you have a new family favorite.
Use this to build burrito bowls, or in a lettuce cup, topped with guacamole for a low-carb, Whole 30 taco.
Loaded Sweet Potato Bar-
This self-serve bar is always a hit with the family and it uses leftover taco night ingredients saving you loads of time during meal prep.
All Meat and Veggie Chili-
Low-carb and super hearty, there’s a reason over a million people have clicked on this recipe. So so good.
Whole30 Lunch Ideas:
Low carb zucchini pizza bites-
Who doesn’t want a bunch of mini pizzas for lunch? Omit the cheese and you’re ready to eat. These make a perfect after-school snack or lunchbox idea for the kids.
Mexican Fiesta Deviled eggs-
While I enjoy a good classic deviled egg, nothing beats this combo!
Bell Pepper nachos-
This will give you something to drool about! Taco meat, black olives, salsa, guacamole, it’s basically loaded nachos that are good for you. These are great for dinner or packed into lunch. Pack the guacamole in a separate sauce container and top when ready to eat.
Southern Chicken Salad-
Honestly, this is a staple lunch all year round, but it’s also Whole30 compliant. I like to double the batch at the beginning of the week and pack it in our lunchboxes. I usually have mine over a salad, while my kids always like theirs with plantain chips and baby carrots.
Whole30 Breakfast Ideas:
Sweet potato toasts-
Swap the regular morning toasts for these sweet potato toasts. Here is how to make them, plus 5 ways to top them, so you’ll never get bored.
Spinach & Bacon mini quiches-
One batch yields 24 mini muffins and they work great for breakfast or lunch.
Blueberry Muffin Green Smoothie-
One of my family’s favorite smoothies and promise, no one will know there it includes spinach!
For starters, I like to keep sliced veggies with hummus and guacamole, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and cold cuts on hand. Plantain chips or homemade banana chips are also a favorite replacement for chips and crackers, try them with salsa or guacamole to amp it up.
In case you need a few snacks that are readily available, no prep work needed here are a few Whole 30 compliant options that can be purchased on amazon and delivered straight to your front door:
- SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed Snacks
- Lära Bars
- Rx Bars
- Lorissa’s Kitchen Original Grass-Fed Beef Sticks
- Justin’s Classic Almond Butter
- Plantain Chips + salsa
- Pork Rinds
Doing a #Whole30 with kids is no joke. What has been the most challenging part about meal planning your Whole30? Here’s that recipe for Shrimp Fried Rice I told you about to get you started. Plus, you can download your free Whole30 Meal Planning Sample here.
Shrimp Fried Rice
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 large head cauliflower or 6 cups cauliflower rice
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped, whites separated from greens
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup carrots, cubed
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 pound shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
- Chop cauliflower into chunks and place in a food processor. Pulse to finely chop until it resembles rice, set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together coconut aminos, honey, ginger, and red pepper flakes; set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, heat up sesame oil. Add in the white part of the onions and sauté for about a minute. Add frozen peas and carrots, stir, and cook to heat through for about 2 minutes. Move veggies to one side of the wok and add in beaten eggs. Cook eggs on one side of the pan, moving the mixture around as it cooks until cooked through. Add shrimp, and cook, for about 2 minutes until they’ve turned pink.
- Add in riced cauliflower and stir to combine. Pour the Tamari sauce mixture over the top, making sure to distribute evenly throughout and cook for an additional 4 minutes, until cauliflower has softened but has an “al dente” texture. Turn off heat, sprinkle green onions, cover for a minute to soften, and serve.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 239
- Fat: 8.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.2 g
- Fiber: 5.9 g
- Protein: 22.6 g