Meal planning is a way of keeping track and organizing the meals of the day. It helps you avoid repeating meals that you had already prepared in the previous day of the week. Weekly menu planning can also help keep a tab on the amount of your calorie intake per meal.
Following are the things that you should keep in mind while preparing a weekly menu planner for you and your family.
The inverted pyramid:
Meal planning even though done as a weekly affair should be done keeping in mind that your daily diet should be in the form of an inverted pyramid. This means your heaviest meal of the day should be breakfast, followed by a moderate lunch, an evening snack on-the-go (optional) and a very light dinner.
The significance behind this is that, breakfast being the very first meal of your day should help you get through the physical and mental work that you carry out through the day. It’s a failsafe approach to keep you full even if you skip lunch. Moderate lunch keeps you full through the second leg of the day. It is up to your appetite if you have a hankering for a snack during the evening (or if you have skipped lunch willingly or unwillingly). Whatever you do, try to keep dinner as light as possible. As there is minimal or no bodily stress during the night, a light dinner is good for your stomach as it will digest a light meal easily while you sleep.
Never underestimate leftovers:
Leftovers may sound like food that is of little or no use, but it can be of great help when you are running low on time and have to pack lunch for your work. For instance if you had prepare a meal out beans last night and have some of it left in the fridge, you can make a salad by adding some chopped vegetables to the beans and pack yourself a healthy lunch that is prepared in a jiffy.
Make your home meals Interesting:
That’s right, if you or the people that you prepare meal for are working through-out the day, you can treat them by keeping themed meals. It might not work for those who have a household full of working people, but it certainly can be a hit for families with kids. Keeping a soup, pasta or a taco night for them can make their meals interesting, especially when it is evident that kids are picky eaters.