Mom of Two & Meal Planning 101

childhood nutrition

I’m backkkkkkkkkk! It’s been four {plus} months since I last blogged.

Being a mom to two young girls (newborn+2.5 year old) is no. joke. Yep, you read that correctly two GIRLS! Baby number two was another girl. SISTERS! <3

If you haven’t been following along with my previous pregnancies, I’ll catch you up… we didn’t find out the sex of either of our babies before delivery. I guess you could say we like surprises. 🙂

Arlie Louise was born on Saturday, March 12th at 2:58 in the afternoon. She weighed eight pounds, four ounces and was 20.5 inches in length. She’s absolutely, no doubt about it, per-fect.

I delivered at Family Beginnings Birthing Center at Miami Valley Hospital (again). It’s the only accredited natural birth center inside a hospital in the state of Ohio. I delivered Albany via water birth and hoped to do that with baby number two. With Arlie, I labored most of the time in the water… got out of the tub to check my cervix and boom… it was time to push! so… I delivered Arlie on the bed, not in the water. We had a healthy baby girl, what’s most important.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Family Beginnings. I hear such awful birthing stories from friends/clients and am so very grateful to have had such positive experiences with both of my girls. Birthing a child should be a sacred, treasured time, less of the medical procedure it’s become (IMO 😉 )  I won’t go on. and on. about American birthing practices (it’s something I am truly passionate about), but know that you (my readers) are more than welcome to message me for more details/questions about my experience if it interests you. 🙂

onto foooooooooood.

Meal planning is crucial to eating healthy. Esp. if you’re busy… and who isn’t busy?

It’s always been important for our family, but now more than ever. Some of my clients assume I spend hours cooking “gourmet-like” meals each evening. They couldn’t be more wrong. I wish!

So… what’s my saving grace? Having a plan!

Again… this isn’t a “Do what I do” post…I’m just sharing what works for me/us!

Step number 1: Take inventory of what’s in your fridge/freezer/pantry that needs used up. A half bag of rice? Frozen vegetables that are a few months old? Leftover peppers from last week? We need to select recipes for the week that use up these random ingredients… otherwise we waste good quality food. No bueno.

Step number 2: Select dinner recipes for the week. Us personally… we select two to three recipes per week. Why not seven? A few nights a week we don’t eat at home. We usually have family dinner on Sundays at my parents and we typically eat out on either a Friday or Saturday each week. We also eat one recipe for two days (usually). If you/your family doesn’t mind leftovers, this is one of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest habits I’d encourage. Also, look at your calendar for the week and take into account which nights are going to be a bit crazier than others. I try to plan leftovers or crockpot meals on the nights I know I won’t be home until later. 😉

I purchased these handy little notepads on Etsy. So incredibly helpful.


Step number 3: Make your grocery list. Include all of the ingredients you need for the dinners you are going to make. Remember to double the ingredients if you are going to double the recipe. Add breakfast, lunch, and snack foods to your list.

  • Snacks: I typically snack on fruit, raw vegetables, nuts/seeds/nut butters, dates, boiled eggs, olives, deli meat (without nitrates).
  • Breakfasts: Remember protein+ produce. Typically I pick a protein: (Canadian bacon, pork sausage (Applegate), eggs (boiled or scrambled), homemade breakfast casseroles, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nut butters) and add a piece of fruit. I’ve recently added dairy back, so this week I added Greek yogurt and cottage cheese to my breakfast list. I proactively removed dairy prior to Arlie’s delivery, as many babies have intolerance to the dairy proteins transferred through the mom’s breast milk.
  • Lunch: my favs: leftovers, egg/tuna/chicken salad, spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles with bruschetta or marinara, lentils, canned bean or veggie soups, veggie burgers. Typically I’ll have one of the above and complete the meal with a side of veggies or fruit.

Step number 4: Meal prep! Once you’re home from the grocery, I encourage you to cut/wash/bag your veggies/fruit. boil eggs. cook squash. spiralize zucchini. portion out 1/4 cup of nuts of seeds into baggies or containers. pre-portion dips or nut butters. make chicken/tuna/egg salads. roast veggies. grill meat. cut lettuce for the week. etc. etc. etc.

This week I made chicken salad for lunch (canned chicken, pecans, grapes, celery, onions, mayo, mustard).


I could eat 25 bazillion of these coconut date rolls so it’s important that I portion them out with two in each baggie. I also portion out little cups of nut butters and add raisins to the top. These little cups are super easy to dip my celery into.


Boiled my eggs. Bagged my carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, and peppers.


Roasted my spaghetti squash.


Step number 5: Pack lunch/snacks the night before.

Step number 6: In the morning, think through the plan for dinner. Remember to put ingredients in the slow cooker, or thaw meat in fridge. Have a game-plan for when you get home in the evening.

Okay… I think that’s all. Of course… this is what works for our family. This will be different if you have a stay at home parent or don’t like leftovers or have other unique habits.

Need help with meal planning? Fill out my Meal Planning Questionnaire and contact me. I’m more than happy to help with the tough task of figuring out what’s for dinner.

Thanks for reading. I’m happy to be back! 🙂

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