Part 2: What is Meal Planning?

Meal planning is making a plan of meals with optimal nourishment and nutrition for every member of the family within the available resources.

The term ‘available resources’ refers to whatever the family has in terms of time, energy, and money.

Now let us look at this activity holistically & objectively to understand whether we are able to do it justice in the current format of handling the same.

It is only fair to acknowledge the fact that the activity of Meal Planning is an immense responsibility and needs to be done justice to!

While managing our current set of responsibilities, we end up not fully considering the more important parameters and succumb to making choices within our comfort zones. These could be in letting taste score over healthconvenience dominate over the need for variety, and limited bandwidth prevail over the actual possibilities.

In such a case, we leave ourselves with little opportunity to do justice to the responsibility of ensuring optimal nutrition for the family while also ensuring that healthy does not become boring!

While we know that we must include a variety in our meals to keep them interesting, we are not able to manage it consistently because of various other pre-occupations. We continue to make dishes the way we have always done and the experimentation and introduction of new dishes are few and far between.

With no/little planning and limited bandwidth, we end up compromising on our health in favor of convenience and often get stuck and resort to

·      repetitions of dishes

·      fixed menus on certain days of the week/month,

·      shortcuts

All in all, whether or not we acknowledge it, this is a continuous source of stress in our lives! We can laugh it away, joke about it but the stress cannot be done away with so simply!

And it will remain so unless we make a little change in our routines and start with Meal Planning in a bit more organized manner as opposed to shooting from the hip and relying on our limited memory and ability to help us rustle meals which will be enjoyed by everyone!

In reality, healthy food can be made interesting and have variety – it just requires some thought to go into the planning and that is where ‘Meal Planning comes in!

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Part 1: What is Meal Planning?

Even though the phrase sounds very formal and daunting, it is what one does every day!

Putting it simply, one is doing meal planning when one answers the daily question of ‘Aaj khane mein kya banana hai / what should I cook today/What is there for breakfast/lunch/dinner? etc’!

Most of you reading this will say- ‘Big deal’!

Actually, it is quite a big deal!

Because when one sets oneself up to answer this question every day, for each meal, there are a lot of things that need to be considered.

As the person in the family who is responsible for deciding what meals to serve every day, one has immense responsibility on one’s shoulders to ensure that the meals:

·      are nutritious, healthy,

·      are tasty, varied/interesting

·      meet the diet requirements

·      and preferences of the family members.

And these are just a few of the total set of considerations!

One also has to:

·      first figure out the menu for each meal,

·      consider the availability of ingredients or organize for the required stuff!

·      check out how much time would be required to prepare the said meal vs how much time is available for the job.

This is alongside all the other responsibilities that one is shouldering on an everyday basis!

And this is a repetitive task!

But the challenge is that each time the question remains the same and yet one has to come up with different answers! You cannot have the same answer as yesterday or the day before! You have to think on your feet and be ready to dish out interesting meals each time with or without support!

Whether you are cooking yourself or have a cook, this decision is still steered by you alone!

If you still think that it is not a big deal, then you are seriously undermining your own self and the importance that this activity has of ensuring a healthy status of you and your family members!

Download AMIYAA: what’s cooking App

From Play store/App store or visit our website