Meal Planning for the Busy Mom
This is a guest post written by Mary Ann Blair, new mom and registered fitness nurse. For more amazing health tips and information, follow her on Twitter or visit her at Higher Level Fitness.
We humans of today are not so patient with our food. We want it yesterday, easy and with no fuss.
I am certainly no exception.
Planning the kid’s schedule of getting prepared in the morning; organizing who’s going to take which child to that event, game, tournament; deciding what field trip your child will participate in this year and how to help fundraise for that ….
How do we manage to get all of these tasks taken care of, yet meal planning is pushed aside as the not so easy task to do?
Because it takes too much time? Really? Did you just SEE how much time you spent planning their next school YEAR?
Childhood obesity is on the rise. Children are consuming calorie filled foods with little to zero nutrition content. ADHD, autism, diabetes, hypertension are all conditions and consequences of poor lifestyle decisions. It’s time to stop and take a step back.
We spend so much time “doing for” our children rather than “helping with”…. By nourishing positive and healthy eating habits through meal planning , THIS is where we can save time, use less energy and get back our ME time.
The question now is how? (I hear you!)
#1. Start with planning to make 2 nutritious meals/week. If your children are older, ask them what 2 meals they would like to participate in. If too young, you decide. If your kids can’t agree, you decide 🙂
Tip – these 2 meals can be ANY two meals of the week. One might be a breakfast and the other one dinner. Break yourself free from wanting to plan other meals (this is when insanity peeks her head in and makes you feel too busy).
#2. Pick which day you will MAKE time to buy, prepare and cook the meals. I am a fan of deciding on which meals and writing out the grocery list on Tuesdays, grocery shopping Thursdays and preparing meals on Sunday and Wednesday.
Tip – when you decide on the 2 meals, writing out the grocery list is easy. Check ingredient list, add to grocery list.
#3. Follow through.
Tip – Just do it and try it out for 2 weeks. Then ask yourself, what worked? For me, I moved grocery list writing from Saturdays to Tuesdays because I got myself all worked up about wanting to get all the ingredients (ie grocery shopping) before the weekend. Then when the weekends got too busy for me to do any meal planning, I got frustrated and mad at myself. Not worth it. Decide what works for you but you must first try and do before you can evaluate the good and the bad.
I see day in and day out the negative consequences of the busy professional lifestyle. Poor fitness, unhealthy eating habits … Doesn’t sound all that bad when it’s “sometimish” behaviour.
Fast forward when you let your busy lifestyle take over you — hypertension, diabetes, cancer. Fast forward again — how healthy are your children?
The earlier you adopt a positive lifestyle, the greater the benefits decades from now. Your children model your behaviour and when they see you not taking care of yourself, guess what? They start thinking that convenience overrides taking care of self.
Busy professional moms unite! Let’s create and encourage positive eating habits so that our children can be healthy, independent and empowered to take care of themselves.
Small steps now will lead to big wins later. And as always, if you need any help, issues, questions or concerns, contact me.
Sharing is caring!!! What meal planning tips worked great for you? Let me know !
Mary Ann, thanks so much for taking the time to do this post for the readers of PegCityLovely. I hope to get better at this whole meal planning thing, especially now that I've returned to work. I'm looking forward to more guest posting from you in the future!