“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

In our busy lives, time can be a scarce commodity and meal organisation is a common challenge that many of us face. However it can be well worth improving this aspect of our eating habits as it has fantastic flow-on effects and makes it much easier to get through the week. This can be the make-or-break for still looking after your health even when times get busy or stressful.

Here’s a few basic meal organisation tips:

  1. Plan

Some people find that planning meals a week in advance by choosing recipes and doing one big shop works best for them. Others prefer to just look a day ahead and make sure they have plenty of healthy food in the house that they can make meals from.

We have a few great healthy, delicious recipes here on the website, otherwise find some healthy recipe books for inspiration (for example the CSIRO books now available in-store).

Choose meals that are made up of around 50% colourful vegetables, 25% protein (eg. meat / fish / chicken / eggs / legumes) and 25% carbohydrate (eg. rice / pasta / potato), otherwise adjust the amounts of ingredients to fit this guideline. In most recipes it will be the vegetables that are lacking, so feel free to add extra of these! It’s also great for your health to plan in a couple of meat-free meals and seafood dishes in to your week.

Think about snacks too – make sure you stock up on plenty of healthy options so that you have these to reach for first when you feel like nibbling on something.

  1. Prepare

Doing a big ‘cook up’ on the weekend and storing in portions in the freezer can save you loads of time during the week (try the Easy Butter Bean Stew). This is also helpful for those days when you get home late and it’s too easy to resort to unhealthy takeaway options.

If you prefer to cook meals fresh but have limited time to prepare them, spend a few minutes chopping up the vegetables and store them in containers in the fridge so they’re ready to throw into meals mid-week.

  1. Pack

Not only will this save you money, but your lunch is likely to be much lower in fat, sugar and salt if you make it yourself.

Salads that don’t go soggy, like the Warm Roast Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing are great to do up in bulk and take to work every day. Vegetable frittatas and leftovers from dinner are also great options.