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Meal Planning Tips for the Busy Texan Family

Olivia Mateo

June 1, 2022

Planning balanced meals while running a household is no small feat. This week, the Texan Mom Blog discusses Meal Planning Tips for the Busy Texan Family

The endless task of feeding your family is real! I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to serve healthy food while keeping things easy, fun, and manageable. As a mom of two, I must admit, feeding my kids can be rather demanding. My little ones, cute as they are, have gone through a big picky eating stage, meaning we often choose to go with “what’s easy” – something you know will go in without too much of a fight! This has pushed me to re-evaluate my priorities and improve the mealtime situation in our house.

What about meal planning?

Being a Texan mom, I’ve realized that I can’t just mindlessly plan our meals around our beloved barbecues. For families with growing kids, there needs to be variety too. Careful meal planning paves the way for smarter food choices, drastically improving mealtime battles, and helping to combat our kids’ picky eating. Building a well-balanced meal plan promotes healthier eating habits, while reducing the risk of obesity in the family. 

Many moms juggle chores, work, after-school activities, and more. It’s safe to say that all this isn’t a walk in the park! Oftentimes, it feels like we’re just running from one place to the next, with no time to properly prepare meals. In this sense, meal planning may just be our saving grace – our one key to consistently getting nutritious meals on the table.

Importance of meal planning busy Texas  families

Meal planning saves time

How much time is there, realistically, to prepare a meal between getting home and bedtime? Precious time spent thinking about what to eat and preparing meals can be reduced drastically by planning and writing down your meal plan in advance.

Meal planning saves money

Despite having convenient dining options in and around town, nothing ever beats a good home-cooked meal. Brush up on homestyle cooking by researching recipes in advance. Eating in is one of the best ways to save money on food. 

Planning a weekly menu reduces emergency trips to the grocery store. You can organize and control grocery expenses by eliminating time spent wandering around the supermarket, which – let’s face it – inevitably results in buying more than what’s needed.

Meal planning helps ensure a balanced plate

Nutrition is one of the first things to bear in mind when creating a meal plan. It’s important to plan out well-balanced choices of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables for every meal.

Meal planning tips

It’s undeniable that eating together can help build and sustain close relationships within the family, but deciding what to put on the table can be quite a challenge! Make planning meals more manageable with these tips.

Map out your menu

Figuring out what to eat for every meal can be very time consuming. Aim for variety over the course of the week. On some days, your kids may want more of one food group, and that’s okay. Try adjusting meals to balance their nutritional needs without force. Find inspiration in these easy-to-follow recipes that use local and seasonal ingredients.

Pro tip: On busy days, choose recipes that don’t require too much prep.

meal planning with family

Involve the entire family

Sometimes a well-balanced meal is difficult to feed to our kids. One of our duties as parents is to create a positive food environment so that food doesn’t become the enemy at the dinner table. 

Make meal planning a family affair and be sure to include dishes that everyone likes. Having the kids involved in your meal prep makes everyone look forward to meal time – no surprise foods lurking on your kids’ plates!

Shop after looking at your fridge and cupboards 

Make a list of ingredients that are readily available at home. Incorporate these into your menu plan and fill in the rest. 

Use your menu plan to make a shopping list

It’s important to have a plan in place before walking into the grocery store. Including quantities on your shopping list helps to avoid overbuying.

Keep favorite recipes handy

We all know that feeding a family can be a rather demanding task. And often we quickly run out of ideas. Taking mental notes and remembering family favorites is a good way to keep your kids happy with their meals.

Batch cooking is your friend

Instead of cooking the amount you need for one meal, doubling or even tripling recipes for freezing is a good way to prepare meals ahead of time. Portioning up your meal prep in smaller containers for future consumption means you’ll spend less time cooking for your family, and enjoy more time having fun with your kids.

Frozen food in the freezer. Frozen vegetables, soup, ready meals

Freeze leftovers for future use

Saving leftovers in the freezer not only eliminates food waste, but it also creates great back-up meals for those busier days.

As life gets hectic, meal planning becomes so much more than getting the kids to eat well – it gives us an opportunity to unwind together, find time to talk, and pass on foodie traditions. In this way, meals can be seen as touch points to connect with the ones that matter the most.

At the end of the day, feeding the family can be challenging for reasons that go beyond the food. Having a good meal plan takes much of the fuss and stress out of food prep, allowing you to have more time together with your family.