Meal Planning with Families

Why teaching your child healthy eating habits and meal planning is so important.

Meal planning for the week can seem like a daunting task but in actuality it’s a very simple process that has benefits you have probably never considered. Meal prepping is not only a healthy choice for you but for your children as well. In addition to the health benefits you can also cash in on some extra quality time with your kids, while teaching them good habits at the same time!

Raising our children to be healthy adults starts at home and we are the best role models. Do you see your daughter try to dress up like you? Or maybe see your son trying to be like Dad? That carries over into food as well! Start by sitting down together to plan out a few easily prepped meals that will hold up in the fridge for the week, then head to the store (without the iPad!) and have them help pick out fruits and veggies.

Let them pick something based on their favorite color or if they think something smells good. Educate them on different produce and how to pick out the good ones based on color, feel, sight and smell. You will have personal shopping assistants in no time and can repeat this type of process throughout the store while educating them on healthy vs. unhealthy foods. 

Meal Planning for Families
Helping prep the fruit they picked out.

Now that you’re home with the goods, let the fun begin! Show them and them let them do age appropriate things to help prep the weeks meals. Younger kids may be a good fruit and veggie washer, while older kids can learn how to slice meat and produce before cooking. This is not only fun and educational but is also a good way to get your kids trying new things. If they help make it, they will be proud of it and willing to have a positive attitude about trying what they made, even if it is Brussels sprouts!

Meal Planning for Families
Getting the spinach ready for the Italian Chicken

Last but not least and actually the number one reason for my meal planning: you won’t have to hit the drive through or come home after work and spend time cooking dinner! Everything will have been pre-made and portioned out, all you have to do is heat and eat! This leaves more time for homework, playtime or just to relax with the kids! So go ahead, give it a try!

Meal Planning for Families
Waiting for his food to cook

A Sample Dinner Meal Plan:

Italian Chicken

Chicken Breasts seasoned with italian spices

Sliced in half

Filled with spinach and low-fat mozzarella cheese

Gently fold chicken back in half and put a toothpick in to hold together

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes- make sure chicken is cooked all the way through!

 

Stuffed Peppers

Large Bell Peppers

Cook ground turkey with onions, garlic, and olive oil

Cook quinoa as instructed

Cut off the tops of the peppers remove the seeds and rinse thoroughly

Fill peppers with quinoa, ground turkey, black beans, and top with cheese of your choice.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

 

One Pan Baked Salmon

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

Place Salmon in the center and surround with prepared asparagus

Season with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and sliced lemons

Bake sheet at 450 for 10-12min

 

—  Written by: Sarah Magalee RN/ personal trainer/ nutritionist/ single mom

Need more help with your families health and wellness? Contact us! We are here to help with all of your families needs when it comes to their wellness.