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Here are some of my favorite meal planning tips when you have kids from a fellow blogger & mother, Kate Trout.  You know how I was doing my weekly meal plans… well these tips are what we used, too!

A bacon cheeseburger with text above it.

As a mom, you wear many hats.

For me, I’m a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I’m also a full time “employee” as a stay-at-home mom!

And, looking after my two little ones, I must admit that I was not always able (or willing) to prepare fresh cooked meals each night. Some nights it was just easier to pick up a pizza, order Chinese, or simply pop something in the microwave for the kids to eat.

But, after doing a lot of reading about how important it is to stay away from processed foods and eat more organically (and also because my pants started getting too snug from all the fast food), I decided to make time each week to plan and prep my week’s meals ahead of time!

After I got going, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and I’ve even developed some tips and tricks along the way to stay organized.

If you just starting to plan out your meals (or simply want to), read on to learn how you can make this method work for you!

1. Gather Recipes Online

I started to browse for healthy recipes throughout my day.

I’d do so when my kiddos were napping, while I was waiting at the doctor’s office, and even waiting in line at the store. By utilizing all of my time, I was able to build a database, if you will, of recipes I wanted to try.

I joined Pinterest, which allowed me to keep all of my finds in one place! I even organized them into different categories (breakfast, snacks, crock pot dinners, organic meals, lunch, etc.).

By having all of the recipes in one place, I eliminated the need for scanning multiple sites and cook books.

2. Make a Food Calendar

Every Sunday morning during breakfast time, I survey my family and ask them the meals that they might like to eat during the week.

I keep track of their responses on a write on wipe off calendar that is hanging in my kitchen.

By planning each meal out, there is no confusion about what’s being served, and it also helps me focus on my grocery shopping!

3. Bulk Up on Containers and Lids

Once you know what you want to cook, you will need a large amount of containers that will house all of your meals and prepped ingredients.

I like to assign certain food items to certain colored lids. So, if I see something in my fridge that has a blue lid, I know that it contains vegetables in it. If it has an orange lid it contained leftovers.

Color coding is a great way to stay organized.

Keep in mind that many grocery stores only offer lids in red and blue, so you may need to order some online, or visit a specialty container store!

4. Prep and Cook on the Same Day

It’s easier to designate one day as the prep and cook day. I usually do this on Sundays after breakfast is served (before the kitchen gets cleaned up).

I chop veggies for omelets, whip up pancake batter, and even make jarred salad for everyone’s lunches.

I then have all my fresh ingredients ready to be tossed into stir fry or the crock pot throughout the week.

5. Bust Out the Crock Pot

A crock pot is an amazing cooking tool for busy moms!

I wake up just a bit earlier on the days that I planned using the crock pot. I knew that all my ingredients were already ready, and that I only had to brown my meat.

I also only save the crock pot for days during the week that I know will be really hectic, or when my husband has a lot going on. The crock pot has become my best friend, and I decided to make things even more efficient by purchasing liners for the pot so clean up was a cinch!

It is possible to have it all and do it all! Just because you are a busy mom doesn’t mean that you can’t eat healthy and have fresh meals ready each night for your family.

Consider the five tips and tricks from a master of the trade, and get ready to change your life!


Kate Trout is the author behind Maternity Glow, A New Mom’s Guide to Figuring it All Out. She’s a coffee addict, wine drinker, cheese lover, and is kind of obsessed with baby laundry detergent. Oh, and she’s also Mom to the two cutest little kids.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I’ve been using all these tips, and they’ve helped a TON!! They’re especially helpful on the two days a week that I work outside the house.

  2. Hi Becky, great tips there! I have a meal weekly calendar, but I don’t follow it most of the time. I just find myself cooking other things. I think what will work for me is gathering online recipes.ill also try the crockpot tip.