If you’re a parent who loves to cook as often as possible, you know that it can sometimes feel like a chore, especially when you’re short on time. One of the best ways to make the best use of your cooking skills and your time is making personalized meal plans. Not sure what that entails? Keep on reading, and you’ll find out.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making personalized meal plans. We’ll cover everything from ingredients to include in your meals to where to find recipes. You can consider this handy article your go-to guide for personalized meal planning.
First Off: What Is a Personalized Meal Plan?
A personalized meal plan is an eating strategy that’s tailor-made for a specific person. Personalized meal plans typically include all of the following:
A personalized meal plan typically revolves around recipes, not pre-cooked or pre-packaged foods. Why the emphasis on cooking? Here are a few reasons:
- Meal plans are designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Cooking at home tends to be healthier for you than eating lots of packaged, processed foods. For this reason, personalized meal plans built around simple recipes that can be cooked in large batches and eaten over the course of a week are ideal.
- Cooking encourages a better relationship with food. Encouraging your family to help you in the kitchen is a great way to set them up with a good relationship with the food they eat. Cooking at home can improve a person’s relationship with food by helping them gain confidence in the kitchen, encouraging them to savor their meals, and making mealtime something special.
- Cooking with recipes is fun. Part of the pleasure of using a personalized meal plan is getting to try out recipes that are made just for you.
Another aspect of personalized meal plans is the inclusion of information about the ingredients in each recipe. Since meal plans are often geared towards people who want to live healthier lives, this nutritional information usually serves as a point of reference for calorie counts, macronutrient ratios, and other similar data.
However, how much nutritional information you look at is really up to you. If you’re just an at-home cook looking to feed the family on a weeknight, you might be just fine without peeking at nutrition facts and calorie counts for each meal.
This aspect of personalized meal planning is more geared towards nutritionists and their clients, as the main goals in that context are often weight loss or better physical health. That means that if you’re just looking for recipes and weekly menus, you don’t have to worry as much about knowing the nutritional profile of every meal you make.
Who Can Benefit From Personalized Meal Plans?
While they’re often recommended to people who want to live healthier lives, personalized meal plans can be beneficial for just about anyone. Below are key reasons why people choose to make meal planning part of their lives.
Saving Time on Healthy Cooking
Not everyone has time to plan out healthy meals, determine what ingredients to use, go shopping for those ingredients, and cook every day of the week. In fact, it’s safe to say everyone has some days every week when cooking nutritious meals at home just doesn’t seem to be an option.
Luckily, meal planning gives busy people the chance to save time – and eat healthy food. When you sign up for a personalized meal plan, the person who prepared the plan for you is doing work that you’d otherwise have to do yourself, saving you tons of time in the process.
Losing Weight or Improving Overall Health
Nutritionists often recommend personalized meal plans to clients who are struggling with portion control, not getting enough of certain nutrients in their diets, or primarily living off of low-quality, super-processed food. Cooking your meals at home based on personalized recommendations can dramatically change how you feel physically, and it’s also one of the best strategies for healthy, sustained weight loss.
Now, let’s be clear – meal planning isn’t a diet. Instead, using a personalized meal plan gives you a chance to eat in a way that works for you in the long term. It’s a balanced, sustainable way of cooking and eating, not an extreme approach to weight loss that is hard to maintain.
Gaining Valuable Culinary Skills
If you’re not a fan of cooking, a personalized meal plan could change your mind.
Meal plans are often recommended to people who have a hard time enjoying cooking at home. This is because:
- The recipes are simple, which means they’re typically easy enough for someone with minimal culinary skills to cook.
- The recipes are quick, which eliminates one major complaint about at-home cooking – it takes time.
- The recipes are personal, which means they’re geared towards a person’s specific preferences and nutritional needs.
For anyone who doesn’t particularly like cooking, these aspects of personalized meal planning make it a great alternative to the standard approach to making food at home.
I’m So Busy! How Do I Plan Out My Meals For The Week?
If you’re constantly on the go, it’s tough to find time to research recipes, look around the store for ingredients, and cook food for you and your whole family. With work, parenting, and other daily responsibilities and tasks, it’s no wonder if the process of shopping, researching, and cooking is starting to feel like a chore.
Luckily, there’s a solution for the burnt-out parents, the hardworking twentysomethings, the college students tired of eating cafeteria meals, and everyone else. It’s Jo! We specialize in creating personalized meal plans for anyone and everyone, so you don’t have to worry about finding the time to figure out what to eat.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about how our personalized meal planning services work.
How JOW Can Help You Save Time With Meal Planning
Busy people need good food, too!
With JOW, you can save time on the meals you cook at home, freeing you to tackle your daily tasks and responsibilities. As part of our personalized meal planning services, we’ll make you a custom menu that fits the needs of your household – for free. That meal plan includes recipes, a detailed shopping list, and more. We’ll even order your groceries for you to save you time.
When you make a personalized meal plan with us, we take a bit of basic information – the number of mouths to feed in your house, your dietary restrictions, and your preferences – and use that info to match you with recipes you and your family will love.
Instead of spending hours shopping for groceries and looking up recipes on the internet, let us handle the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is follow our super simple, super delicious recipes and enjoy the food!
Jow Can Save You Money, Too!
Eating out too often isn’t great for your health – or your wallet. Home-cooked meals tend to be made from healthier ingredients than restaurant food, making them better for you and your family’s health in the long run. In addition, restaurant food tends to be very expensive in comparison to home-cooked meals.
Over time, the use of a personalized meal plan can save you money on food, which is a big win for you and your wallet. By eating out less, you end up with more money to spend on the meals you make at home, which makes it easy to shop for high-quality ingredients without breaking the bank.
I’m On a Tight Budget. Can I Still Do Meal Planning With Jow?
If you’re shopping for groceries on a budget, our meal planning services are still perfect for you. We strive to make our recipes as affordable, accessible, and delicious as possible, and they’re ideal for a wide array of households and circumstances.
Eating on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious meals. We make it easy to see how much your ingredients will cost before you get them from the store, so you’ll be able to plan ahead for the cost of each dish you cook. That means you can save money and eat well at the same time.
I Have Dietary Restrictions. Is Meal Planning For Me?
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, or something else, you can still reap the benefits of meal planning. Our massive database of recipes includes meals suitable for all lifestyles, so there’s no need to worry you won’t be able to figure out what to cook.
At Jow, we don’t see dietary restrictions as hindrances to great cooking. Instead, a special diet gives you an opportunity to take a unique approach to the way you cook, trying out interesting ingredients and dishes you otherwise might not eat. No matter how you eat, there’s plenty for you to enjoy in our huge pool of recipes.
How to Get Started With Meal Planning
Kicking off your personalized meal planning journey is super simple. All you need to do is download the JOW app or head over to our website. There, you’ll answer a few questions about what kind of menu you need for the week.
We just need to know the size of your household, if you eat a special diet, and if there are any ingredients that you don’t want to be included in your meal plan. We’ll also get you to tell us a bit about your kitchen equipment, so we don’t give you any recipes you don’t have the tools to make.
From there, you'll be all set. You’ll instantly receive a menu for your next few meals, complete with detailed instructions and ingredient lists.
A Sample Meal Plan Menu
If you’re looking to get an idea of what’s in store for you if you create a meal plan with Jow, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a sample meal plan that should give you a good idea of the kinds of recipes you have to look forward to!
- Breakfast: French Ham and Cheese Omelette
- Lunch: Speedy Beef Quesadilla
- Dinner: Rustic Tart With Summer Vegetables
- Breakfast: Tomato and Egg Shakshuka
- Lunch: Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad
- Dinner: Shrimp and Avocado Noodle Bowl
Meal Planning Tips
To make the most out of your personalized meal plan from Jow, follow these tips.
- Let us order your groceries for you. If you need to save as much time as possible, you can use the Jow app to remotely order all of the ingredients you need to make your meals. That way, all you have to do is drive over to your local grocery store and pick up your ingredients, then head home and get cooking. You can also get your groceries delivered, if you want to save even more time.
- Get creative with the way you serve your meals. We’re big on plating, presentation, garnishing, and other culinary techniques here at Jow. We hope our recipes give you a chance to embrace your inner chef and add a bit of extra flair to each meal you make.
- Aim for three healthy, tasty meals each day. You’d be amazed at the difference that eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day can make for your energy levels and overall well-being. Even though it might take extra time, it’s worth it not to skip breakfast or lunch during a busy workday. Instead, use your personalized meal plan to make food ahead of time and have it ready whenever you need it.
If you’re looking for creative, inspiring recipes to add to your personalized meal plans, make sure to check out our cooking page. There, you’ll find ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that fit in with a wide variety of diets and lifestyles. There’s plenty to love in our massive database of recipes, and it’s the perfect resource for meal planners.