First, what is meal planning?
What are the benefits of meal planning? So many!
Taking 10-15 minutes during one day of the week (many do this on the weekend) and planning out your meals for the whole week significantly reduces the amount of time you spend thinking about what to eat during the week. You have a plan and know what to eat so you pretty much don’t have to think about your meals!
Saves you money!
When you know what you’re going to eat and write out your grocery list based on the meals you’ll be having you’re automatically going to save money because you’ll only buy the ingredients you need for that week! How many times do we buy produce thinking we’re going to use it only to throw it out at the end of the week? Also when you do plan out your meals for the week you’re likely not going to stop through the drive through at your nearest fast food to pick up something to eat.
Saves you mental energy (and stress)
No need to stress on what to eat because it’s all under control and you know what’s for dinner tonight.
Saves your health!
When you plan out your meals you have more time to think about balance and nutrition. Aim to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables, plant based protein sources and whole grains.
Saves food waste!
Your grocery list is based on the meals you’re going to cook so you know that you’ll be using everything you buy (and hence significantly reduces food waste). How neat is that?
How do I start meal planning? 3 easy steps!
- Write down a list of your favorite family meals and recipes. This is your brainstorming time. Think of at least 15 meals for each suhur and iftar. Use my free printable to organize the lists. Tip: I personally like to arrange my meals by main portein dish: all chicken, meat, and fish, and plant based protein recipes in different sub lists. This helps me during the second step when I am looking to create a balanced meal plan.
- Start plugging in your meals into the meal planner. Think of balanced nutrition when doing this step. For example, make sure you have at least one fish dish a week, one vegetarian dish, and a variety of quality meat and chicken dishes. Again use the meal planner provided or use a paper or word document.
- Create your grocery list. For each week assess the ingredients required for your meals and write them on your grocery list. Remember to check your pantry and freezer for any ingredients you may already have stored. Organize the grocery list by category to make it easier to do the shopping. You can even organize it by how your grocery store is laid out.
- Hang up your meal plan in a visible place to be able to refer to it regularly.
- Enjoy a stress free and nutritious Ramadan.
Again be sure to download the free Ramadan meal planning printables here.