The month of Ramadan is fast approaching. The excitement for Ramadan can also bring a lot of stress for many families. With reduced sleeping hours and increased time dedicated for spirituality, preparing nourishing meals can be a struggle. A key solution to creating a stress free Ramadan is to plan some meals in advance. Meal planning and prepping has reduced my stress during Ramadan so I would like to share some strategies with you as well. For tips on creating nourishing meals, check out my post on healthy eating during Ramadan.
What is Meal Planning and Prepping
Meal planning simply means to plan out some meals in advance. It can mean anywhere from writing down some meal ideas, stocking your pantry with key foods, preparing some ingredients, and cooking meals for a few days in advance. The key is to have a system in advance for preparing meals. Meal planning is a learning process that can be flexible to fit your needs.
Benefits of Meal Planning and Prepping During Ramadan
Meal planning can:
- save you time in the kitchen preparing meals
- save you money and grocery store trips
- save your health by making healthier food choices
- reduce stress levels by not worrying about what to cook
- reduce food waste as you’ll only buy what you need and use it in your meals
Meal Planning and Prepping During Ramadan
Below are the key steps to meal planning and prepping:
1-Write down a list of your favorite family meals and recipes. Think of at least 10 meals for each suhur and iftar. Try to keep meals simple. For suhur ideas you can check out this blog post.
2-Start plugging in your meals into the meal planner. Balance out your week with a variety of meals including some fish recipes and vegetarian meals. You can check out the post on healthy eating during Ramadan here. Consider other commitments you have during the week such as iftar invitations. You can also incorporate leftovers in your meal plan (cook once, eat twice).
3-Create your grocery list based on the meals you planned for the week. Remember to check your pantry and freezer for any ingredients you may already have stocked. Organize your grocery list by category to make it easier to do the shopping.
4-Dedicate a time in the week to get your groceries or order them online.
5-Once you do your shopping, spend one to two hours to food prep for the meals that you will be cooking this week. This may include:
- cooking your grain side
dishes for the week (such as rice, quinoa, potatoes)
- chopping vegetables (eg. For a stirfry, curry, salad, snack)
- slicing fruit (for a smoothie, with yogurt, snack)
- marinating meats and chicken that you’ll use
- Other things you could food
- cook chickpeas/beans/lentils in big batches and freeze them
- make a batch of whole wheat pancakes and freeze them
- making a homemade trail mix (eg nuts, seeds, dried fruit)
- making a batch of hummus or bean dip
- make your own salad dressing and put in in a jar
Ramadan Meal Planning Toolkit
I’ve created a Ramadan meal planning toolkit to help you plan out your meal efficiently. Here’s what it includes:
- Ramadan Meal Ideas brainstorming sheet
- Ramadan meal planner
- Grocery list template
- 7-day Ramadan sample meal plan
You can download the Ramadan meal planning toolkit here for free. Remember meal planning is a process that you can take beyond Ramadan. Adapt it to your needs and reap the benefits.
Do you meal plan for Ramadan? What other strategies do you have for a stress free Ramadan?
Check out the Guide to Healthy Eating during Ramadan here.