brown bowl filled with salad, chicken and apples

5 Simple Tips for Healthy Weekly Meal Planning

The summer is winding down and it’s likely time you’ve started to think about healthy meal planning options.

Follow these five simple tips for healthy weekly meal planning. Ideas for incorporating healthy foods into your weekly meal plans. #mealplanningideas #mealplanningtemplate #howtomealplan #healthymealideas

Why is it that the summer seems so easy when it comes to meal planning? Probably because there’s an abundance of fresh produce. The grill is hot and ready to roll in a matter of minutes. Basically anything grilled is acceptable to eat every night of the week.

But as we get into the fall and winter, it sometimes seems a bit more difficult to come up with healthy meal planning options.

Rather than stress yourself out over what to eat, just follow these five simple tips for healthy weekly meal planning.

Tips for Healthy Weekly Meal Planning

Tip 1: Create a simple meal planning template

No matter how you decide to do this, have a simple meal planning template created so that you can easily see what you plan to eat throughout the week.

My typical weekly meal planning template actually just lists out the days of the week.

I always plan out dinner, and just assume that I’ll have enough for lunches the next day.

Usually I’ll buy a few salad kits, those salad bags that come with a dressing and a few add-ins so that I can make a quick salad for lunch.

pink weekly meal planning template

Once Kennedy is older, and eating more solids, I will use this meal planning template so that I’m thinking ahead for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.

I love the layout of this meal planning template because it allows me to see everything at a glance. I can see where I’m maybe lacking a veggie, or where I could incorporate a healthy grain into our weekly meal plan.

Tip 2: Incorporate a veggie into dinner; every time

It can be really easy to forget about incorporating a veggie at dinner.

I remember when I was younger {and actually even the past couple of years}, my mom used to always remind my dad to include a veggie with dinner.

He was the cook in the house, and if he had it his way, we would only eat meat and potatoes. My mom was constantly reminding him that we needed a vegetable with dinner.

If you have a plan for incorporating a vegetable right away with dinner, it won’t seem so daunting to try and get them into your daily routine.

I love going the quick route with steam-in-bag veggies, or frozen vegetables. So many people are afraid of frozen veggies, thinking that for some reason they’re not as healthy. But that’s just not the case.

If you can eat fresh, I would obviously choose that first, but when fall and winter hit and you need a quick veg to add to dinner, don’t shy away from frozen broccoli or cauliflower florets. Frozen corn, Brussels sprouts, carrots, etc. are all great options to get a little veg in your meal planning for the week.

Tip 3: Try a nutritious swap in a recipe you know and love

Do you have a favorite recipe you eat on a weekly basis?

Ours is probably these white chicken enchiladas. We could seriously eat them every single week. I even made them twice to freeze when Kennedy was first born. They work great as a freezer meal!

But instead of the sour cream, I always use Greek yogurt. It has the same consistency of sour cream, but with less calories and more protein.

This simple swap helps make one of our fave recipes just a little bit more nutritious.

As you’re putting together your weekly meal plan, take a look at the recipes you want to use and swap one ingredient for another that would be just a little bit more nutritious.

Tip 4: Give a new recipe a try

We’re all creatures of habit. So it can be super easy to get in a rut and plan and make the same recipes every week.

You know: Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, pancakes and eggs for dinner {just us?}.

If you’re like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and prefer to eat the same meals each night of the week, that’s totally fine. But let’s switch things up a bit.

You can still have taco Tuesday, but instead of your typical ground beef, maybe try a shrimp taco. Or maybe a pulled pork taco with a pineapple salsa {don’t knock it till you try it, because it’s totally bomb!}.

two pork tacos topped with pineapple salsa

Use tip #3 for those nutritious swaps, and you’ll be golden on a healthy meal idea for the week.

Tip 5: have fun and enjoy your meal!

If you want to have a healthy weekly meal plan, you need to have some fun with it.

Don’t think of healthy as something that needs to be boring, or that no one is going to like.

When you have fun with the meals you’re creating, everyone else in the family is going to enjoy them too!

I have a recipe for healthier chicken tenders. Let me tell you, we ate these all the time even when we didn’t have kids. They were super easy to make, and are so crispy and crunchy, but aren’t fried or packaged.

black plate filled with healthy baked chicken tenders

If you have kids that are old enough to help you make dinner, let them! Show them that making dinner is a fun experience, and they can see exactly what’s going into their meal. Plus when they have a hand in what’s being made, they’ll appreciate their dinner even more.

Let them help you choose recipes to make so that they can get excited too.

Don’t have kids? No worries! You can still make meals fun by choosing recipes you’ve never tried before and cooking with your significant other.

Overall, healthy weekly meal planning should never be stressful. When you incorporate these five simple tips, you’ll be on your way to the grocery store in no time!

Want some healthy desserts to include with your weekly meal planning? Check these out:

Healthy Apple Pie Cheesecake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

No Bake Cookie Dough


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