Meal Planning For Real Food

Meal Planning For Real Food

Fri 27 Jan 2012

Story by Brenda Thompson

This week’s Tuesday Twitter Party was a fast-paced and lively exchange of ideas as Food Revolutionaries from all over came together to talk about meal planning for real food. I was honored to be asked to guest host once again and thank the participants for their contributions to the conversation.

Twitter Party: January 24, 2012, 7 pm PDT/ 10 pm EDT

Theme: Meal Planning For Real Food

Choosing to prepare and eat real food takes time and effort but really, only just a little bit! With meal planning, you’ll not only save time and money, but ultimately, your body will be the better for it because real food makes a body feel good too!

Party Questions and Some of the Best Tweets:

Q1. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to meal planning?

@TheOrganicTrail My biggest challenge is finding the time. Once I do I am always thankful I did it.

@Cookingfor7 Including adult items that are also kid friendly

@JaimeMorlin I find it harder to be inspired in the winter without as many fresh ingredients readily available

@LZXpress Organizing around everyone's schedules - and even tastes are tough parts of meal planning

Q2. What do you do that helps you eat more real food made at home?

@JaimeMorlin Keep a stocked pantry and many main ingredients on hand

@lanaprekprogram I find that planning simpler recipes helps me cook more real food. If I get too crazy, I get overwhelmed.

@TheOrganicTrail Sometimes I make double of a recipe at the same time... One for now, one for later.

@LZXpress A2 I get kids involved – they help plan, shop and cook. They choose the menu. More fun for me – lessons for them.

Q3. How do you save money on cooking real food?

@lanaprekprogram I think a way to save $$ is by planning to use freshest stuff first to avoid waste. Waste = $$ down the drain.

@TheOrganicTrail The planning saves money. If I go with a plan/list I buy what I need, not what I think I need.

@Lunchalicious Sharing bulk items with friends so cost is lower and there is no food waste! Buying local is even better!

Q4. When you plan a meal, do you think ahead to leftovers? If so, how?

@checklistedmama I try to stretch a meal, like chili one night, then taco salad/nachos the next, etc.

@Deepsterr I don't like making leftovers, cooking fresh and having quick meals is the key, and saves room in the fridge!

@TheOrganicTrail My husband takes leftovers for lunch.

Q5. Do you take advantage of making meals for the freezer so homemade meals are ready easily when you are?

@mommacuisine YES! When I have time, I make extra batches and meatballs.

@girlgoneveggie Yes! Make in bulk and freeze foods for later. I do this all the time so when I'm busy I have quick meals I can grab.

@TheOrganicTrail Yes! This is best way to get thru busy week! Freezer shopping instead of fast food shopping.

@Lunchalicious LOVE having healthy home made meals in the freezer for nights things are just too rushed or you want a break!

Q6. What food did you used to buy but now make from scratch? What would you like to learn to make next?

@girlgoneveggie Frosting! Nearly all the frosting in grocery stores contains trans fat. No thank you, I now make my own!

@BrazenKitchen Canned beans! Make a habit out of soaking beans before bed then throw in the slow cooker before going to work. Easy peasy!

@Lunchalicious Used to buy pizza quick & easy to make (and cheaper!). If we don't use both, we will freeze one for next time.

@JaimeMorlin Granola too- Super easy and healthy whole grain breakfast

Q7. How involved is your family when it comes to input on the weekly meal plan?

@Lunchalicious My husband and I like to meal plan together. We have a list of foods we know the kids really enjoy and add those to the menu too.

@Cookingfor7 sometimes we do where everyone gets to pick what we have for dinner one night (7ofus)

@TheOrganicTrail VERY involved. Daughter picks a favorite meal for week. Helps to get buy-in from all involved.

Thanks everyone for coming! Join next week’s #FoodRevParty, 31st January at 4pm PST/7pm EST with guest host @DawnViola.

About the Author & Host: A mom, foodie and self-taught meal planner, Brenda shares ideas through her blog, Meal Planning Magic, and local workshops on how to get organized in the kitchen, save money, eat healthier, consciously and family-friendly all while having a little fun along the way.


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