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Meal Planning and Preparing: A Step-By-Step Guide

Meal Planning and Preparing: A Step-By-Step Guide
A step by step guide on how to make menu planning quick and easy.

They say that food is most delicious when prepared and sprinkled with love. However, not everyone likes planning and preparing meal from scratch and prefer take-outs instead.

In reality, not everyone has the luxury of time to plan and prepare sensible meals. It is understandable since most of us are busy people trying to squeeze all our activities that need to be accomplished during the day.

That is why there are canned goods and take-outs to satisfy your hunger. You also won’t have to spend a lot of time planning and preparing your meal. Then again, these types of foods aren’t healthy when eaten on a daily basis.

Why you should prepare your own meals

Meal Planning and Preparing: A Step-By-Step Guide
It’s fun preparing your own meal together!

If time is your main issue, there are still ways to prepare healthy meals. Aside from healthy, there are other reasons why you should prepare your own meals. Plus, you won’t have to spend a lot just to eat healthy food.

Processed foods are high in preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. Sure, it is easy to prepare and palatable. However, eating processed foods often can lead to adverse health effects such as obesity.

Meanwhile, you can be assured of what goes into your body through freshly prepared meals. In addition, homemade meals can make you feel healthier and boost energy. Other reasons why you should prepare your own meals to include the following:

  • Can boost your confidence, lessen stress, and improve mood.
  • Will reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Lessens the risk of obesity and a great way to lose weight.
  • Can improve your sleep and better brain health.
  • Lessens the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Can even encourage fertility and reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms.

You don’t have to be an expert in cooking to prepare wholesome meals. It also doesn’t require expensive ingredients and cookware. It gives you the authority to control the portion size and ingredients that go into your food. Plus, cooking at home can be a great opportunity to bond with your loved ones.

Meal planning and preparation 101

Meal Planning and Preparing: A Step-By-Step Guide
Let’s plan and prepare our meal for this week!

By now, you should already be convinced to prepare your own meals. It’s healthy (unlike processed foods) and less expensive (unlike take-outs). However, a lot of people would still feel overwhelmed by cooking food from scratch. But it shouldn’t be that way.

For one thing, being healthy especially through the food you eat always starts at home. There may be apprehensions on your part. Still, there are ways to get rid of those negative thoughts. Who knows, you might love cooking and preparing your own meals later on!

So many foods to cook, so little time.

Shopping for ingredients can already be time-consuming. Planning, preparing, cooking meal and then cleaning-up is another story. However, there are ways to speed up your preparation and cooking process if time is of the essence.

  • Consider online shopping and have your ingredients delivered at your doorstep.
  • If you have more time on the weekends, pre-cut meat and vegetables so you can prepare meals faster during weekdays.
  • Better yet, cook a large batch during the weekends. Divide them into containers that will be good for at least a week. That way, you can simply reheat those once you arrive home and still eat a good meal.
  • Try preparing salads. It can take literally minutes to prepare one.

I do not know how to cook.

Everyone starts from somewhere, even professional cooks and chefs. That is why you should not feel intimidated just because you cannot cook like them.

  • There are endless recipes online that you can follow through.
  • You can also buy a cookbook, or tune in to your favorite cooking channel to get some meal ideas.
  • Just cook. The more you cook, the more you will learn and enjoy it.
  • Play some music and make your cooking chore a fun one!

My children like fast food and won’t eat what I cook.

Sure, it can be frustrating to cook something only to be rejected by other people especially your family.

  • Let your children understand the importance of eating healthy foods instead of fast food or canned goods every day.
  • Let your children join you in cooking. For example, you can let your child peel potatoes or wash the vegetables. No slicing duties for the meantime especially in smaller children.
  • Be an example of eating healthy. Your children will most likely follow suit.

Other tips for healthy food preparation and cooking

As if we haven’t emphasized healthy foods enough, here are other tips to kick-start healthy eating.

  • Keep cooking as simple as possible. You can grill some chicken or fish with simple ingredients like salt, pepper, and some herbs, and you’re good to go! Steam veggies or saute for a quick healthy dinner for the family.
  • Don’t throw leftovers. Instead, you can be creative with it and make an entirely new meal out of it. For example, you can mix leftover chicken breasts with mixed veggies for some healthy rice bowl.
  • Make sure to always have the basic ingredients in your kitchen. This includes chicken, fish, oil, or some rice or pasta. Avoid canned goods as much as possible, but some cans of tuna can’t be that bad, either.
  • Just enjoy cooking. You should not feel pressured to be like Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. As long as you know you’re cooking healthy meals for you and your family, that’s enough motivation for healthy eating.

Has this article triggered your will to cook healthy food? For more healthy lifestyle tips, you may also check here!

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