We know that failing to plan is planning to fail, so we know the importance of simple menu planning can make the day a little more timely and efficient as well as setting you up for success as far as sticking to your healthy eating plan.
While simply taking the steps to start planning is the first thing to think about, there are a few tips we can share to keep up variety and lessen boredom with your menu.
Choose dishes and recipes that you know you will enjoy at the time you're eating them (this goes for lunch foods too and foods where you can prepare extra the night before and pack some for lunch the next day). Simply choosing foods you like will help you get excited about the planning and in turn the preparation of the foods.
Make sure you think ahead to plan for the times when you know you have plenty of time to prepare a meal and other times when your time is limited. It makes sense to plan a meal that does not require a lot of preparation at a time when you do not have a lot of time to prepare the meal. This does not mean you have to eat toast when your time is limited, it just means that you might pick a recipe that is prepared in 30 mins rather than an hour. (This can also be assisted by ensuring you have all the ingredients you need ahead of time so you can start preparing the meal straight away).
Ensure you pick a different base each day so that you increase your variety. An example of this would be to choose a different meat for consecutive days. You might have a beef dish on Monday so it is best to choose another meat or vegetarian protein source on Tuesday for example chicken or tofu.
As mentioned above, ensuring the dish is not the same type will ensure you do not get bored either. For example, having a curry each night (even if one night is chicken the next is fish and the next is pork) you will probably not be impressed by the third or forth night of curry, even if curry is your favorite food.
Think about a great place to find good recipes. There are so many great recipe books available and so many generally sit on our books without being opened. This is a great opportunity to dust off those cookbooks and try out some recipes you've not tried before. Even the least healthy of recipes can be modified slowly to decrease the fat content or increase the fiber content.
Scatter some of you old tried and tested recipes among the new recipes to provide some familiarity to your menu but also some new recipes to expand your repertoire.
Try some things you've never tried before, you never know what might become your new favorite food. Our supermarket ranges seem to be getting larger and the opportunity to shop online for ingredients makes it even easier to get hold of a specific food item or ingredient that you may never have tried before.
Try some foods from different cuisines, there are plenty of great opportunities to learn how to plan a healthy menu for particular cuisines. And there are plenty of recipes, online tips and cooking classes you can take to help with expanding your knowledge and experiences with difference cuisines.
One of the most satisfying things about how to plan a healthy menu is the opportunity to sit down and create the menu which will then whet your appetite for more exciting items on your menu and then make your shopping trip more interesting in your discovery of all the great items you can experiment with.