Basic Meal Planning In and Outs
For surfers, a basic meal planning is quite easy to do but can be very overwhelming. It might be time consuming but at the end it is all worth it. Refer to the pyramid information below to make sure you have the basic food requirements met for all family members. There is also a plate with an idea of what should be on it made by the USDA and is called ChooseMyPlate. It is a great way to find the outlines of what your family and you need to add to your diet every day. Then cross check and plan by looking over basic food categories to target healthy foods to fit the lifestyles and health of everyone. For example, if someone has eats too much sugar, add some fruits with healthy sugars and reduce the intake to help them get over that need of unhealthy sugars.
Meal planning also depends upon several factors like the number of people eating, meal times, special dietary concerns, budget, available foods, recipes on hand and likes and dislikes of everyone who will be eating. Begin by choosing foods and recipes that you like and know how to prepare well and that fit into everyone’s dietary plans. If one or more people have special needs, like diabetics, plan ahead for substitutions either in the food preparation or food substitution for that individual or for those individuals.
Meal Planning Ideas
Surfers eat a lot of healthy snacks and foods. Not only because it is a part of the culture. But because a lot of the times, in order to surf you need to stay in shape. And a good diet will help with that. It is not hard to make and prepare healthy meals for the whole family. Our team recommends planning the week out on Sunday meal by meal and then make changes through the week if not desired that day. You can also prepare all the ingredients, freeze them and only take them out to make the meal. This makes it easy and fast. Because let’s be honest. the time-consuming part and the part everybody hate about meal prepping is the PREPARATION of the ingredients, not the cooking part. So, make it easy on yourself and plan things out!
There are a few things to note when making meal choices and menu planning. First, some foods may be advertised a certain way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. For instance, eggs and sausage can be served for dinner, not just breakfast. And waffles can be made from healthy wheat grains and eaten for lunch with fresh fruits instead of sugary syrup and heavy butter for breakfast.
Add variety, too. Have other family members jump in and prepare meals some nights and on weekends. Kids enjoy making macaroni and cheese, so host mac-n-cheese night on Wednesdays, for example. Then alternate different vegetable combinations, colors and textures to vary the menu on a weekly basis (no need to let boredom take over on Wednesdays with the same routine!) Another great idea is to set days for a certain meal. Like Tuesday could be Taco Tuesdays, and Sundays could be barbecue. This is what we do in our household. When we get tired of the same thing all the time, we just switch it up for that week with maybe some sushi or even homemade pizza.
Saving Money for Budgets
To help with family food budget concerns, clip coupons from newspapers, weekend inserts, and any place you can find them. Downloaded coupons from the Internet to save money, too, from places like CoolSavings.com and CouponCart.com. RefundingMakesCents offers an affordable subscription to a neat print magazine for coupon deals, trades and lots more, with a secret code to their website for Internet coupon-codes for lots of online companies like Amazon.com (cookware) and Barnes and Noble (cookbooks).
Also note seasonal food selections for savings. Create menus and meals based upon what’s on special that week or month. Hint: stock up and store or freeze special-priced items and family favorites when possible and storage room and the budget allows. But don’t overdo it. With convenience stores and supermarkets for food shopping in practically every neighborhood anymore, there is no need to hoard. An old saying, “Haste makes waste” might apply if you see a great buy, purchase multiple items, then let them become outdated and have to toss them out.
One fun way to save is by trading coupons and working out food deals with friends, family, neighbors, your church group and anyone else who’d like to join in. Food cooperatives and farm markets available in your area may offer special pricing to groups or large purchases. So, team up for better purchasing power and split everything up between group members. If you’re not into that much organization, go one-on-one with a neighbor, other friend or relative. Buy a huge bag of potatoes, onions, oats, and / or other foods, then share.
Here is one special item to note with regards to dietary planning. It’s unfortunate, but fast foods, especially those that are high in fat content (fried, greasy foods), are often cheaper than good, healthy food choices. For example, lean beef costs more than high-fat beef; cereals high in nutritional value are often priced much higher than the low-cost, sugary brand names. And low income and homeless people are particularly victims of this situation, many times needing to turn to the less healthier food choices for survival. So whenever possible, your plans might want to include donating a portion to homeless shelters and churches who would probably be more than willing to take extras off your hands.
Knowing What to Buy
If you write out a weekly menu like we mentioned earlier, you will have an idea of what to buy exactly for that week. That is a great way to save time and money. Now before you do that, you should have all of the recipes so that you do not miss anything at all. Because everybody hates going grocery shopping and hates it even more when you forget something.
Another way to do it so you don’t have to go to the store every week is to invest in another fridge and put it in the garage. Or if your fridge is big enough in the kitchen. Buy a month full of groceries! This is what we do! We buy a month full of food and then when we get back home. We cut, peel, prepare everything and freeze it. When it is time to make, all I do is take out the already prepared ingredients and cook them. This saves time and headaches. And also, nothing goes bad.
Obviously, you can freeze fruits and vegetables, but everybody likes it better fresh. I would then recommend freezing some and the rest eat it before it goes bad. You might have to go shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables a little bit more often.
Find the best way for you and your family to start meal planning. Start off slowly or you will get overwhelmed and give up really fast. Maybe start with just a couple of days and then slowly move up to a week and then 2 weeks and then a month ahead. Some days you might not want to eat what was planned. So, make sure to buy other things too. And you will always have a stock of great foods. Everybody will be full and happy as well!
Let us know below how you started and some advice you might want to give! It always helps to have others doing this with you at the same time. A good community is very important to stay motivated. Looking forward to seeing what you guys have planned!!