MEAL PLANNING HACKS FOR FAMILIES - PLANNED EXTRAS

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If you're a mother like I am (3 kids over here!), you're probably tired of the never-ending task of feeding your family. It can be overwhelming to find the time and motivation to plan, organize, shop, prep and clean up food. All around your kid's schedule and demands, and possibly your own long work day and commute.

 Wouldn't it be amazing if you could know what's for dinner every single day when you wake up? You would have the necessary groceries on hand already, saving extra trips to the store. You would rely less on take-out and processed foods - saving time, money and stress!

I love teaching moms about meal planning, and sustainable system that works for your family. Because I understand that it's easy to fall off of that organized meal-planning wagon! One strategy that I love to work into my weekly meal plan that saves me a ton of time is "planned extras."

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Planned extras aren't just leftovers. While I love leftovers, we tend to consume them for lunches. Planned extras happen when you take one component of the meal you cook on day one and transform it into totally different dishes for day 2 (and possibly days 3 and 4!).

Cooking extra of that one food and using it in future recipes for the week saves what we all need more of - TIME!! This can work with meat such as chicken, fish, pork or even roasted vegetables, rice or beans.

Here are some examples of how Planned Extras work:

Cook Extra of this on Day 1:

  • Chicken

  • Ham

  • Salmon

  • Ground Beef

  • Roast Beef

  • Brown rice

  • Roasted veggies

 Use Extras in recipes like:

  • Chicken quesadilla, chicken stir-fry, chicken salad

  • Mac n cheese with ham, wraps

  • Salmon cakes, salmon chowder soup, salmon Caesar salad

  • Sloppy joes, tacos, burritos

  • Beef dip sandwiches, soup

  • Stir-fry, rice pudding, soup and casseroles

  • Egg frittata, wrap with hummus, veggie soup

Want to know more about making feeding yourself and your family easier? Request to join my free Facebook group called The Nourished Family.

Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian, author and owner of First Step Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta. Jennifer works with moms to help them nourish their growing families with confidence! Whether it's dealing with picky eaters, starting baby on solids or getting organized with meal planning, Jen helps her clients decrease food overwhelm through online and in-person programs.

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