Meal planning and meal prepping are all the rage, thanks to an explosion of content on social media. It’s difficult not to stare at beautifully arranged, colourful meals packed creatively in beautiful see-through containers and not want to follow suit.
Planning and preparing for anything have their rewards and we all know the disadvantages of not planning and preparing adequately for our day-to-day activities. The benefits to self are the same with meal planning. Taking the time to think through your weekly meals and accompaniments and the portions sizes and using the plan as a guide to your weekly grocery shopping and then prepping everything in one go can help in multiple ways.
While all planning schedules start with a lot of enthusiasm, building a habit for the activity can take time and it’s easy to slip out of your good intentions on an off-day when you feel you just can’t. It’s not a crime to eat out or order in, you also have the option of having your weekly meals delivered to you till you can get back on track with your meal planning.
Let’s go over some key benefits of meal planning that resonate universally.
Save Time, Fuel and Energy
These savings translate to obvious money savings, they also contribute to more free time and less rushing. With meal planning, your weekly grocery shopping trip, washing, cleaning and prepping of meals for the week gets streamlined, leaving you with more time on your hands. Because it is a planned activity, you can have your family’s involvement as well, turning it into a family bonding occasion.
Enhance Meal Variety and Quality
We know home-cooked meals can be more wholesome and well-balanced than take-out food. The very essence of meal planning takes into account giving thought to what to have, how much to have, at what time and with what, allowing you to make well-thought-out diet decisions.
Reduce Food Waste
Forgetting what’s in the fridge and purchasing groceries that don’t get used up within their use by date is a regular phenomenon for some of us. Planning your weekly meals reduces food waste because you only purchase what you need for your weekly schedule of meals, what you purchase gets used up during the week.
With Organisation Comes Peace of Mind and Some Free Time
Do you find yourself rushing every morning to prep breakfast, put together lunch to take to work and then cook dinner feeling exhausted after a long day in the office, well, meal planning helps reduce all that rushing and anxiety.
Take into Account Food Preferences and Nutritional Requirements
Although it’s not something we think about every day, individual family members will have their food preferences and nutritional requirements. The advantage of meal planning is that you can consider these individual needs when preparing their weekly diets without extra fuss. Planning allows you to think through these needs and come up with food options that can deliver appetizing, wholesome meals.
Cooking to Retain Maximum Nutrients
Planning can help you to think through cooking methods that retain nutrients.