Tips for Creating a Healthy Eating Plan for Parents Who Don’t Like to Cook
90% of your health comes from your diet – the other 10% is exercise, stress management, getting enough sleep and so on, but none are remotely as important as making sure that you’re getting the nutrition your body needs in order to function and develop properly. I’ve known this for years, and I also know that the key to having a healthy diet is preparing your own meals. Eating in restaurants constantly was always either too expensive or simply unhealthy if you opt out for the cheaper stuff. That’s where creating a healthy eating plan comes in.
Creating a Healthy Eating Plan Can Make Your Life Easier
And a few years ago, even though I was aware of this fact for quite some time already, I couldn’t bring myself to cook a meal every single day. I kept making excuses like “I don’t have enough time”, “I’m just not that good of a cook” and “It’s too much of a hassle to cook for myself”. But the one true reason was much simpler than that – to this day, I just don’t like to cook.
Then I talked to a few of my friends who were working moms with several kids, and somehow they find the time and energy to prepare a healthy meal for themselves and their families every single day. I desperately wanted to know their secret, and when they revealed it to me, over time I became much better at it, simply because they gave me a few tips on how I can plan my meals in advance.
Today I want so share some of those tips with you so that you, too, can start cooking up a delicious, healthy meals for your family and stop relying on takeout to feed your kids.
1. Find a System and Stick to It
One of the main problems of the modern age is that there is sometimes simply too much information out there. In this case, there are potentially hundreds of different ways in which you can organize a healthy eating plan.
The first mistake that many people make is that they keep searching for the perfect one. Then they lose all of their motivation in the process because they keep blaming the plan itself instead of their execution of the plan.
What I want you to do is to find a good healthy eating plan and keep at it for at least a few weeks. Realistically, that is the amount of time that it will take you to get the hang of it properly and switching to a different plan in the middle of it is just going to set you back.
Even when you’re busy to meal plan or you’re getting sick of eating the same things, consider using a meal delivery service. These healthy meal delivery services will bring hearty meals to your doorstep, they are fresh ingredients that you will need to prepare. Expect to put in about 30 minutes into your meal, so there is still a time commitment, but going out to a restaurant is also a time commitment.
There are some excellent companies that made a great reputation thanks to the variety of healthy meals they offer, and for some of them, like it’s the case with Sun Basket meal prepping, getting good food to healthy families is what they’re all about. Or you can go more plant-based with a meal service like Green Chef. These two are some of my personal favorites.
Have you ever heard of Thrive Market? It’s like Amazon, but has some different healthy options that you can’t find most places.
2. Start Simple, Don’t Overcomplicate Things
If you’re new to meal planning, it’s often best to not push yourself to make a very complicated meal that requires a lot of fancy ingredients the first time. Instead, cook up something that you already have some experience with, and leave the complicated stuff for the rest of the week.
Personally, I allow myself the privilege of making Monday my “simple meal day”, because I don’t want to deal with a complicated meal on the same day on which all of my hectic weekly activities tend to begin as well.
This will make it less likely that you’ll lose all your motivation towards your healthy meal plan because of a failed first dish, which can be a real bummer sometimes, so make sure that you take that into consideration.
3. Make Use of What You Already Have
When I first started planning my meals, one of the most crucial mistakes I kept making was this: I’d write down all the meals I wanted to make that week, then I’d go out and buy all the ingredients required and proceed to make the meals. The problem was that the week after that, I’d have a ton leftover from everything I bought since you can’t really buy exactly the amount you’re going to need.
And then since I wasn’t about to make the same food over again, a lot of the stuff that I bought went bad and I had to throw it away. I repeated this several times before I realized how much of my food (and therefore, my money as well) is going to waste.
But you don’t have to follow every recipe exactly in fear of ruining your dish; it’s okay to improvise, as long as it’s sensible. Butter can be used instead of oil and vice versa, greek yogurt instead of sour cream, etc. The point is to give priority to everything you already have in your fridge and to not buy groceries for only a single meal. Plan it out so that you can use whatever’s left over for something else entirely.
You’re on Your Way to Healthy Eating and Saving Money
That’s about it! Hopefully, these few tips will make the whole meal planning adventure you’re about to embark upon significantly easier, so you can start eating healthy and saving money today. I wish you the best of luck in your future cooking endeavors!