meal plan with toddler

We are knee deep in toddlerhood these days and I'm finding myself scrambling for time (and energy!) at the end of the day to cook up anything substantial in the kitchen. I've always wanted to try meal planning and stumbled upon a fun, healthy plan on lifestyle/mom blogger Emily Schuman's blog, so I decided to give it a go. We were thrilled with the results and how easy it was to prepare. And a major win, it's fool-proof with a toddler's palette.

At just around 60 bucks for groceries and 60 minutes of preparation, we had meals for 6 nights. These recipes couldn't be easier to throw together, and the best part, most of the ingredients may already be stocked in your kitchen.

easy quinoa bowl

Here are the different meal combinations we made:

  1. Chicken quinoa bowl with veggies, topped with an over easy egg, and honey-soy sauce glaze
  2. Roasted chicken spinach salad with peppers, avocado, and hard boiled egg
  3. Nachos with ground chicken (or taco beef), peppers, avocado, black beans, cheese, and salsa
  4. Ground chicken taco salad with quinoa, romaine, black beans, avocado, and salsa
  5. Roasted pepper quesadillas with cheese and salsa
  6. Spinach salad with all the leftover brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and peppers

The simple grocery list:

Staples I usually have on hand:

  • avocado
  • onion
  • fresh garlic
  • spices: paprika, crushed red pepper, oregano, parsley, thyme
  • canned black beans
  • shredded cheese (your choice)
  • corn tortillas
  • tortilla chips
  • eggs
  • honey
  • soy sauce
  • olive oil
  • lemon
meal planning

Helpful tips + tricks:

  • My top tip: don't wait until nighttime to start the prep work of washing and cutting the vegetables. Do it in the afternoon, so your not rushing to get everything done at once.
  • The chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and peppers are all baked on a pan for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Don't forget the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Slice the chicken breasts in half so they are thinner and bake alongside the sweet potatoes and brussels. Top with garlic cloves.
  • The simple, organic quinoa from Whole Foods 365 line is my favorite. I make a huge batch of it by cooking the entire bag. I love having chilled quinoa in the fridge at all times for a quick hearty addition to almost any meal.
  • Remember to let everything cool off at room temperature before you pack and store in the fridge.
  • We've had these glass bowls for years and they are perfect for All The Prep in the kitchen. And we love IKEA's food containers with the convenient heating vent.

What are the ways you like to meal plan? Any favorite go-to recipes?