In between all the humdrum of our daily life, we barely can find some time to spend with our loved ones. As a mother of two, most of my concerns revolve around the well-being of my family, especially the two little picky eaters. Deciding on a specific menu every day becomes a challenge due to lack of time, availability of food items, everyone’s different preferences and what not. Therefore, I started planning a healthy and balanced meal plan for the week which includes items from every food group necessary to meet the nutritional quota.
While planning for the perfect meal plan for your family, you need to think about -
1. Your family’s preferences
There’s no point wasting your time and effort if your family doesn’t eat what you carefully prepare for them. Everyone has their own preferences. Involve your family members while planning for the week and ask what they want to have.
2. The preparation time
Every meal has a different preparation time. For an extremely hectic day, choose something simple and easy to cook whereas when you have enough time, go ahead and experiment.
Buy the required ingredients and vegetables on a weekly basis. You can buy the ones you use every day like rice, flour, dal etc. in bulk for the whole month.
3. The ‘must-have’ food items
Include food items or food combinations that contain the nutrients essential to meet your family’s nutritional quota. Opt for food items such as multigrains instead of the regular wheat atta, to get the benefits of multiple grains rather than just one. Aashirvaad Atta with Multigrains provides the whole nutrition of dietary fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals as it contains 6 types of grains - wheat, soya, chana, oat, maize and psyllium husk.
4. Keep the menu simple
Instead of cooking different food items for everyone according to their preferences, cook one thing that everyone can have. Add a plate of salad, papad or chutney to compliment your dish of the day.
5. Plan for the ‘no-time/mood-to-cook’ nights
There will always be some days too hectic to ruin your cooking mood for the night. Plan in advance and keep the easiest recipe handy for such nights. Or maybe once in a month, call it a “cheat day” and celebrate a family dine-out dinner.
6. No heavy snacks
Make sure your child doesn’t indulge in a heavy snack during the evening that makes him lose appetite for dinner. Keep the snack-times light yet nutritious. Prepare a smoothie of his favourite fruits or a roll of multigrains atta loaded with veggies.
When dealing with kids, it is essential to maintain variety. They tend to easily lose interest in the bland taste of healthy foods and it becomes monotonous when one recipe or food item is repeated multiple times in the week. Therefore, try out different recipes and keep mixing the veggies accordingly to retain your family’s interest in those healthy meals.