According to a recent study, the right food at the right time is very critical to kick-start your child’s growth. However, most busy parents find it dizzying to keep up with preparing homemade food that will serve their baby’s nutritional requirements. If you’re a working parent or company owner, preparing healthy homemade meals for your child may be difficult on a regular basis. Baby meal planning, on the other hand, might provide considerable comfort in such circumstances.
We’ll be discussing some tips and benefits of baby meal planning in this article. But before that, let us know what meal planning is.
what is meal planning
The struggle to provide a healthy meal for your child is a real one. It can even add to your already heavy mental workload. Therefore, meal planning is the strategy put in place to ensure there is always healthy food on the table despite your busy schedules. It is simply doing the “what is for dinner” and “what is for breakfast” one time. With this, you won’t have to brainstorm each day about what to give your baby. You’ve already done that in advance.
As the name implies, it’s a plan, and there are certain things you must put in place before the plan can be effective. First, let’s look at some important baby meal planning tips.
tips for baby meal planning
Sometimes providing a healthy meal for your baby amidst work stress can be overwhelming. Below are some effective tips that will help you through this stress.
- Choose a Strategy: The duration of each plan must be ascertained. For example, is it going to be a weekly meal plan or bi-weekly? All of this must be answered to have an effective meal plan.
- Select Favorites: I’m sure you wouldn’t want to prepare a wasted meal plan. Hence you must choose your baby’s favorite meals first. Even if you are going to incorporate other meals, you must ensure your baby’s favorites are included on the list. Remember, you don’t want to force the child and risk developing food phobias or allergies.
- Grocery Shop Once: you should plan to grocery shop once. Then, you can make a list of what you will need, including the new stuff you want to try out. This will solve the grocery problem for the entire week.
- Cook Once, Eat Twice: Ensure to plan meals according to your schedules. On very busy days, you can prepare meals that the baby can eat twice. You can achieve this by refrigerating the leftovers or some portions.
- Create a Recipe Store: this method helps you never run out of recipes. You can have a note where you jot down all the new recipes that, when used, your baby accepted. You can even bookmark new recipes online. This will always give your fresh ideas on what to give your baby.
- Variety Is Spicy: one of the goals of meal planning is to introduce new meals to your young eater. So, in your meal plan, you ensure some places allow for new meals.
- Introduce Snack Times: another important aim of the meal plan is to help you save time. That being said, you must not be cooking every mealtime. That is where snacks come in handy. Snacks do not only refer to the ones sold in stores. You can make a homemade snack of refrigerated fruit slices or juice. This will serve at mealtimes, especially at lunch hours.
While freezing, ensure to use transparent containers. The trick is that they make the food look appealing, even as leftovers.
You can also use this strategy to prepare ingredients for the next meal. For example, you can store chopped vegetables and fruits in an airtight container or baby food freezer tray in the fridge for later use.
benefits of meal planning
Aside from saving time and lowering the burden of brainstorming for every mealtime, meal planning has other advantages for your little one.
- Food Waste is Reduced:
Due to constant planning ahead, the rate of waste is reduced. You can store the leftovers for later and keep the extra vegetables for later.
- Saves Money:
Of course, everybody wants to save money, and meal planning helps you do just that. As a result of well-prepared shopping and strategic cooking, you save the money spent on last-minute buying. In addition, meal planning helps you check your food budget and lower the amount spent eating out.
- Allows You a Variety of Food Types
Meal planning allows your baby to try out new meals. Studies show that food introduced early to the child will help to reduce their allergies. In addition, meal planning helps you to build an adventurous eater.
- Encourages Portion Control and Healthy Eating:
Planning meals will help you know how much your child eats. In addition, it will help you to know when he begins to eat more or less. Also, planning meals helps you consistently provide healthy homemade meals for your baby, following the necessary guidelines.
Meal planning is another way to show how much you love your child. Aside from helping you bring healthy food to the table, it has a lot of other benefits.
In light of these facts, we can come to a common notion that meal planning is critical for you as a parent to save time and your child’s wellbeing. In addition, we now know the different tips for meal planning and the benefits that come with them.
However, it is in your hand to draw your plan and get the necessary kitchen wares to aid your baby meal prep. Use them well, and the days you enjoy mealtimes with your baby are at hand.
Also, if you wish to store your baby’s puree in the freezer, consider using the Chiill Silicone Freezer Tray. It has 7 individual prep pods, one for each day of the week. So, you can make your baby food and store it here so you don’t have to make any more of the rest of the week!