Meal Plans

7 ways to create quick, healthy meal plans

How can you create healthy meal plans and do it quickly? Because when you do, it will cut the stress, and help the budget. Read on for 7 tips to help you get inspired and organised.

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Do you have the best intentions to meal plan, but you struggle with time? Are you fed up with the panic of trying to feed your hungry family come dinner time? Wish you could finally crack being more organised, so you can eat more healthily as a family? Quick healthy meal plan tips is what I’ve got for you in this blog because…

I get it – you’re a busy mum, spinning many plates and unless you love cooking (even that isn’t exciting for everyday rushed dinners), dinner becomes a chore and the last thing you feel like doing or thinking about. Putting dinner on the table becomes such a mental load.

Picture this …

Walking through your door after a busy day, knowing it’s going to take approximately 20 minutes to warm up the lovely, healthy and fulfilling meal. And you know your kids will eat it.  Sound too good to be true?

Well it is good, and it can be true …

Meal planning may feel like it’s reserved for the uber-organised (you know the ones with unicorns who bake all their own cakes, too) but…

Here are the key reasons I do my best to do it.

  • Cuts stress and saves time. No more panic trips to the shops or shoving snacks into your kids mouths while you’re trying to make dinner after a long and busy day.
  • Helps the budget. Most people are watching their household budgets and with a bit of planning you can dramatically save on the bottom line.
  • Cuts food waste. Ditch the guilt you feel when wasting food and do your bit for the environment. Food waste is mostly due to poor planning. That’s why you need to think about what you can do with leftovers.
  • Helps us eat healthier. Most busy mums want to nourish their families with nutritious food. This can be hard to do when you’re on the hop and rushing about. We grab what’s easiest, not always what we want.
  • Variety. Everyone has struggled with a fussy eater (aka kids in general) or found themselves stuck in a rut making the same meals. Meal planning forces you to try new things.

Meal planning has saved me hours during the week and helped reduce my mental load as a mum – I want this for you too!

With a little planning and consistency, this one habit can transform your day-to-day life.

7 quick healthy meal plan tips to get you inspired and organised:

7 ways to create quick and healthy meal plans:
1) Get organised
2) Book time in your diary
3) Get inspired
4) Book delivery slots / choose a  shopping day
5) Buy seasonal and organic (where possible)
6) Use the 50% rule
7) Double up on leftovers

1. Get organised

  • Check what you’ve already got in the pantry and fridge – If you don’t know what you’ve got, you tend to overbuy. Or not buy what you need as clutter creates a confused mind.
  • Create an organised cooking space with the essentials you need. Pack away stuff you don’t use and make it a pleasurable experience to cook. Think of it like creating a capsule wardrobe in the kitchen.
  • Download a Meal Planning App. Check out The Best Meal Planning Apps which are either free or £4 or less.

2. Book time in your diary

  • ‘That which gets scheduled, gets done.’ So I book time in my diary (usually a Saturday or Sunday afternoon) and I batch cook at least 3 family meals over the weekend and freeze.
  • Batch ideas. For example, you can take mince and chop up loads of veggies in it, and then hand blend it down to disguise them. You can then use this for a spaghetti (or spiralised carrots or courgettes) bolognaise. You can also use it to make a healthy lasagne (with brown rice pasta sheets or butternut sheets) and then add some spice and kidney beans into the last batch for a chilli. 

3. Get inspired

  • Have themed nights and get the family involved in ideas of them e.g. ‘meat free Monday’ or ‘fajita Friday’.  Use Instagram and Pinterest for loads of ideas.
  • Screenshot these or take pics out of recipe books and magazines and save these into a folder on your phone so that you have them for the next time you’re thinking of ideas.

4. Book delivery slots/choose a shopping day

  • Book delivery slots in advance – Tesco have a brilliant delivery pass and there’s great availability when you book their 4-hour windows. We get 2 fresh deliveries a week to keep us topped up and stop rushing to the shops for top-ups.
  • If you prefer to shop in person, then try setting a day every week which will help keep you on track. Also, download a shared grocery list app. That way if one of you goes shopping, you have an up-to-date list of what is needed.

5. Buy seasonal & organic (where possible)

  • Shopping seasonally reduces your risk of produce losing vital nutritional value. And if you can’t do this, consider buying frozen as the veg are frozen at the source, locking in all the goodness. Plus, frozen veg is quick and easy to prepare.
  • Buy organic where possible to cut down exposure to toxins and pesticides on the food. If you can’t afford this, then do your best to buy the “Dirty Dozen” organic (these are the most chemically laden foods). And consider buying more of the “Clean Fifteen”. Regardless of what you buy, always wash everything.
A list of food items that fall into one of the two categories: dirty dozen and clean fifteen

6. 50% rule

  • Make sure to load up your plate with 50% vegetables/salad and the rest with quality protein, e.g., legumes, beans, lean meat and carbs.
  • Focus on complex carbohydrates which take longer to release glucose (energy) into your bloodstream. Brown rice, quinoa, squashes, and vegetables are all a great source of carbohydrates.

7. Double up on your leftovers

  • Personally, I love leftovers! Making a bit extra and having that in the fridge ready for lunch the next day is such a time and money saver. This definitely stops me buying unhealthier lunch options on the go or shopping hungry.
  • Whip up a soup or stew, freeze excess fruit to make a smoothie or blitz your vegetables to make a sauce for your pasta.

Having a weekly meal plan is an ideal way to cut the stress of a busy mum. Knowing what you’re going to make ahead of time goes a long way to eliminating that daily stress from your life and saving you money in the long run. It will also inspire you to cook healthier options, instead of panic buying less healthy options or getting a takeaway. And, when you’re organised, you can be assured of having plenty nutritious fruit and veg in your meals.

You’re thinking, these 7 quick healthy meal plan tips are all good and well, BUT, how do I actually do it? I’ve got you covered.

I am excited to give you this recipe book and meal planner as a tool to assist you with your busy life.

Meal plan like a pro pin image


My top planning hacks

  • Feeling uninspired with your meal planning? Try Five Dinners for inspiration and recipes done for you, categorised and with a ready made shopping list. All you do is go to It’s free!
  • Fill your freezer with healthy frozen dinners from Mindful Chef for those nights where you don’t/can’t/aren’t able to cook.

If these tips have been helpful, you may find this blog useful, too: 6 simple lunches for busy mums.