How to meal plan in 2018

meal plan

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you but I’m craving a plan after 2 weeks of not really knowing what day it is and eating all the cheese and chocolate. I’m kind of over it now and whilst I won’t be starting a diet, I will be pulling back on the treats and focusing on nourishing myself and my family with home-cooked veg-packed meals, more fish, beans and small amounts of local, kindly-reared meat. I’ll also be starting my weekly meal plan again.

When I’ve shared my weekly meal plans for the past year, I’ve had loads of chats with you all about the issues that get in the way of cooking each night. Believe me, I don’t cook from scratch each night, but I’ve got into a few habits so that even when I can’t face cooking, or we’re too short on time, I know I’ll have something homemade in the fridge or freezer than can easily turn into a healthy dinner.

I’ll share these freezer filler recipes, one pan recipes and all the other recipes in my meal plans.

The biggest secret is planning at the start of the week what we’ll eat, and what I need to buy. If I don’t plan, we don’t eat well. Simple as that. My how to plan to cook post from a while back is one of the most popular articles on my site and includes all my tips for how to meal plan and how to stick to the plan.

 

To give you an idea of the boxes I need to tick with my weekly meal plan…

I need my meals to be ready in about 30 minutes of hands-on cooking. That means that I can be off doing other exciting stuff like folding laundry or working while things cook in the oven. The actual chopping, prepping and finishing off needs to be done in less than 30 minutes. Some of these meals are done and dusted in less than 30 minutes so are great for the nights we’re all in late and I’ve not had any time to prep during the day.

I’m often working in the evening or we have leftovers from my recipe testing or cooking classes so there are sometimes strange things on there like Christmas stuffing recipes in August!

Most days I’m cooking dinner for:

My never full husband who does tons of exercise and needs to eat lots. He is rarely home when my boys eat dinner so I plan for meals that the boys can eat earlier and he and I can eat later – the same meal either reheated or finished off for us later. Or the boys have our leftovers for their dinner the next day.

My two boys aged 6 and 7. They’re both good eaters but they are children so of course they try on the ‘I don’t like that’ attitude regularly. I still only make one meal and they just eat the bits they want with a bit of cajoling from me if the veggies aren’t being eaten. If they hate something they leave it but I still serve them everything. I’ve be writing more about this area soon as I know it is a huge one for so many parents.

I’m pretty easy but depending on the time of year and the tightness of my jeans I may have a few less of the stodgy parts of the meal and add some extra veggies to my portion.

How I’ll share my weekly meal plan and recipes this year

I’ll share my weekly menu with you all so that it will inspire you to plan too. Or you can just copy mine! You’ll also start to see patterns of how my plans work so that you can start making your own plans with the recipes and meals you love.

I’ll be sharing my meal plan each week on here and on social media, so be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter  – where I’ll also share pictures most days of the dishes I make. Some of the recipes will be from my site, others will be going into my book. Every two weeks I’ll share the menu plans and some recipes in my newsletter so please sign up here if you haven’t already.