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Nourishing 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

January 30, 2021

Learn how to build a 2 week meal plan for your family centered around whole, real food found in the winter, busy schedules, and nourishing families!

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Finally!

After 7 years of blogging, 2 cookbooks, and countless in person workshops…I’ve made a meal plan! *Sound the trumpets and throw a parade!* I know so many of you have asked throughout the years, and I just never did it because really I never thought I was much of a meal planner. I have always had a bit of a “framework” in my head, gone shopping and bought seasonal food on sale for the week, and then built my week around that – for the last 11 years that I have had children in the house! But more and more of you are asking, and I decided that there definitely could be some value in showing you how I keep our menu seasonal to fit in our budget, as well as show you how I build a week of meals for a normal, “real world” family of five!

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

Balancing Macros {Fats, Protein, Carbohydrates}

Healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates – they all matter when it comes to kids. It’s all about the balance/ratio that works for you and your family. This will look different for each family – and possibly each child! We are talking about normal, healthy children, without inflammatory diseases, etc here. There are special circumstances where a spurt of a more “keto” or other type eating style would benefit a child, or an adult working on healing some things. But for most normal children, a good balance of all 3 macros is the key to stable moods and blood sugars, really good sleep, and laser focus for every life activity. Keep in mind that growth spurts, seasons of stress/sports/extra activities will make the ratio need for each macro vary for your child. Listen to their body – kids are smart. Most of them don’t live to eat, they eat to live. And they crave what their body needs at that very moment. So make your meal planning mantra…“Make every bite count!” When you look at any given meal, are all 3 macros represented in a healthy way? If so, you are on your way!

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

Portion Size Considerations **VERY Important – Don’t skip this section!**

One of the reasons I have always hesitated making meal plans trying to portray portion size and meal prep for every kind of family. Every kid has different appetites (even within the same age group!), and every family has a different number of kids at varying ages! The way that I made meals when I had very small children in the house is actually quite different than how I make meals now. The meals are the same, but my method is different. Back then, I used to have way more leftovers! I think I ate leftovers for breakfast almost daily. Or we had leftovers for dinner at least 2 times per week. I’m lucky to get 1 dinner of leftovers for my whole family of 5 these days with 2 pre-teens in the house! I have to be intentional if I want leftovers. That means purposely doubling or tripling something so that I can use the meal again. SO! With that in mind, if you have older children or MORE children in the house than my 3, you may want to consider doubling some of what I have listed. And if you have just a toddler or 2 in the house, know that you probably won’t have to make as many dinners as I do! You’ll have more leftovers to pull from.

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

Meal Planning Baby Steps

If you pull up this meal plan and feel overwhelmed, slow down, and breathe a minute. Baby steps is key to not quitting. Most of the people that I polled wanted all 3 meals represented, and 2 weeks or more at a time. But if you are new to cooking and real food, you might need to back off on changing everything all at once. This is the real world, and I get that momma. This can be done without overwhelming time in the kitchen. Promise. I don’t have time for it, and kitchen work is part of my job! I don’t want you to quit, so please read through these thoughts!

  • Don’t change everything overnight – even if you are a jump in with both feet kind of person. Start out with one meal of the day. Maybe just start with fixing your breakfast routine. Once you have a rhythm set for that meal that feels good to you, then you can move onto lunch, or dinner.
  • Sit down with the whole family and make a menu TOGETHER. Everyone gets a favorite somewhere in the week. TELL THEM why – they will understand! You could go in so many different life skill directions in this conversation too. Everything from helping them see how good their bodies will feel eating real food, to helping them see how planning meals out helps the family budget.
  • Don’t shy away from a “rotation.” Once you figure out your rhythm…trust me it is like auto-pilot and so nice! You’ll see some similarities within each week, and you’ll see how I plan Sunday breakfast and dinners to help me on Monday every week. There is plenty of variety and change, so that things do get boring, but there is also some predictability. There are some things that look the same but have veggie or fruit switches depending on what I find on sale or in season, and you can do the same according to where you live.
Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

A quick note about location, seasonal food, and availability

I found out real quick when I started doing my weekly shopping trip Stories on IG how vastly different food cost, availability of food, and seasonal differences are depending on location! I love getting messages and learning about how food is bought all over the world! Please keep in mind that where I live may not be where you live. Where I live, buying a half grass-fed cow for the year is affordable for many, and very available. That is definitely not the case everywhere. So where you see beef on my menu, you may have to swap for a different protein, or whatever meat is the best you can afford. I have readers from Europe that ask why we don’t eat much lamb, and people from East and West Coasts of the US that ask why we eat fish only occasionally. Both lamb and fish are quite costly where I live, so it is just not something that fits more than just weekly, if that. In the winter you will probably never see summer fruit like berries, or spring veggies like asparagus, because it is out of season in the frozen tundra of Michigan, and very expensive. Stick with the seasonality of where you live, buying the very best you can WITHIN the budget that you have for your family. Don’t go broke eating real food – you can do this smart within a budget.

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

SO! Let’s get started!

Here is a PDF for you to download of my full 2 Week Winter Inspired Meal Plan with links to recipes included. {See below this section for a blank version if you want to fill in your own!}

Want to build your own meal plan?

Go for it! My way of doing meals is definitely not the only way! And my recipes are not the only recipes around! Here is a blank PDF for you to print and fill out your own.

Winter Inspired Dinners to Swap in the Dinner Section

I know that not every single dinner idea on my blog or in my cookbooks is everyone’s cup of tea, or perhaps you have other ingredients available or in season right now where you live. So here are some other dinner ideas to swap for the dinner section of the meal plan that fit with the idea of “winter inspired!” OR, fill in your own family favorite meals! Most of this list is from right here on the blog. Any recipe links that have a page number are from my cookbooks. Those with page numbers in green are from The Little Lunchbox Cookbook, and those with page numbers in pink are from Nourished Beginnings.

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

Stay tuned…

YES, I would like to make more of these! Stay tuned for another winter inspired meal plan in the coming weeks, and then I’ll jump into spring inspired meals when we get there! Since I am newer at making meal plans for sharing with readers, I would love to have your feedback so that this is as relevant for you. Let me know how you like the layout, etc. If I’m going to spend the amount of time I did to put this one together, I want to make sure they are going to be used!

Raising Generation Nourished 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 1}

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17 Comments

  • Reply Mindy January 30, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I’m so, so excited about this!! Thank you. I love following your Instagram for lunchbox inspiration and can’t wait to try out these meal plans. I have felt in a cooking rut this past while and am now excited again!

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 30, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Mindy! I actually have never been nervous to post anything on my blog until today! I don’t feel like a meal plan expert, but just writing down what we’ve eaten for the last 2 weeks was do-able in my mind, and I just hoped it would be helpful to even one! Thank you for taking the time to say something -I really do hope it helps!

  • Reply Roberta January 30, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    I am so excited!!!! Thank you, thank you!

  • Reply Kate January 30, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Wow – what an amazing resource! Thanks for helping me making the jump from your cookbooks to my weekly meal plan! What do you do for your husband?

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Kate! I’m glad this was helpful! I realized today that I didn’t address my husband much! So he commutes 45 minutes to work each day, and takes his meals with him each week to work. He has been working from home since April, but not much has changed (except his food takes up more room in my fridge LOL!). He food preps on Sunday for about 1 hour to make his breakfast/lunch for the week and then eats dinner with us all week. For breakfast he makes a potato sausage hash that he adds an egg to each day Mon-Fri work days – on Sat and Sun he eats all meals with us. And for lunches Mon-Fri he takes a bunch of salad with him to work and adds some sort of meat main that he makes on Sundays – sometimes chicken, beef, etc. And again, he has dinner with us same stuff. In the warmer months sometimes his breakfast is a smoothie instead of the hashes. Does that help?

  • Reply Trina February 1, 2021 at 6:52 am

    This was amazing!!! I love how you are so intentional with leftovers on this plan – it is one of the things that saves my own sanity and budget as a mom to 2 (soon to be 3!) littles! Will you have a recipe for the “crispy chicken” at some point?? 🙂

  • Reply Samantha Schwartz February 1, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you for replying to what your hubby does for breakfast/lunch. I found it helpful!

  • Reply Erin February 11, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you! I can only imagine how much time you spent on this. Thank you for putting in the time and energy to share what you do with your family. I’m working on the adjustment to making more/fewer leftovers as everyone is growing and eating more, so the note on portion sizes definitely makes sense.

  • Reply Nourishing 2 Week Meal Plan {Winter Inspired Part 2} - Raising Generation Nourished February 17, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    […] this has helped your families. So I’m back with more! ***If you have not had the chance to read my first Winter Inspired Meal Plan, you’ll want to hop over there to start. You’ll read a lot of great tips for portion […]

  • Reply Ell February 26, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    This is perfect for my tired brain after a long winter! Thank you for all the time and energy! My family loves your recipes and it keeps them full and happy which means momma is happy 🙂 I

  • Reply Kristin March 24, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    To get the recipes, do you click on the link in the menu? I did that for a few, and it went to Amazon. Not that I wouldn’t consider getting your books, I was just seeing if there were things I could make right now. Like for egg cups, also what is in the muffin pan that the egg cups are being made in? I have trouble with stuff always sticking to my muffin pan.

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 29, 2021 at 10:39 am

      Hi Kristin! If the link goes to the cookbook, the recipe is in the cookbook – those recipes are only in the books, not on the blog anywhere. I make the books different so people feel like they are getting their money’s worth, and not just getting what they could have gotten for free on the blog! And yes, egg cups! Those can stick if you don’t use the right tool! I love using my silicone muffin cup liners – they don’t stick at all!

  • Reply Nourishing 2 Week Meal Plan {Spring Inspired Part 1} - Raising Generation Nourished April 10, 2021 at 11:38 am

    […] for your kids, meal planning baby steps, food availability, (all of these points are in the Winter Meal Plan 1 post), and also how my husband fits into the meal plan as a commuter (in Winter Meal Plan […]

  • Reply Nourishing 2 Week Meal Plan {Spring Inspired Part 2} - Raising Generation Nourished May 13, 2021 at 10:57 am

    […] for your kids, meal planning baby steps, food availability, (all of these points are in the Winter Meal Plan 1 post), and also how my husband fits into the meal plan as a commuter (in Winter Meal Plan […]

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