A new year means new habits, and for many, this may include taking control of the oxalate count in more meals. Cooking your own food is one of the best ways to ensure you are following a low oxalate diet, but life often gets in the way of baking and making homemade meals. Meal planning to the rescue! Learn more about our favorite meal planning tips for your low oxalate diet.
Start With Something
Meal planning doesn’t mean pre-made, ready-to-go foods for each meal of the day. In fact, approaching meal planning as be-all-end-all can feel overwhelming and difficult. Instead, imagine meal planning as a way to start something instead of starting with everything. Some meal planning tips include:
- Prep mealtime ingredients for the week
- Make extras to eat for lunch the next day, or freeze for an easy meal later
- Buy certain non-perishable items in bulk to have on-hand
The key to meal planning success is to make it as easy to cook for yourself as it would be to pick up dinner on-the-go.
Focus on 3 Steps
As you begin meal planning, use this simple phrase to stay focused: select, shop, prep. This represents the three main steps of meal planning and can help you avoid overwhelm while planning.
- First, select your favorite low-oxalate meals (if you’re looking for inspiration, check out our recipes).
- Use a calendar to track the meals you’ll be eating on specific days. Next, make a list of everything you’ll need to prepare – this will save you time (i.e. extra trips to the store) and money (you’ll likely be able to split items, like seasoning or meat, into several meals).
- Lastly, prep your foods, which includes cutting veggies, marinating meats and measuring dry ingredients.
Try Freezing Meals
For on-the-go families, freezing pre-prepped meals are the way to go. Not only do many frozen pre-prepped meals feed a crowd, but they also are easy to prepare and cook. There are hundreds of meal planning tips for making and freezing meals that will fit any budget and taste. Buy a slow cooker or pressure cooker to make dinner a breeze
Remember Breakfast and Lunch
Stop the fast-food madness! Although it’s easy to pick up a biscuit on your morning commute or grab a greasy burger while you’re running errands at lunch, packing your breakfast and lunches will help you maintain your low-oxalate diet and save money. For an easy morning breakfast, try omelet muffins or overnight oats. Lunch prep is simple when you use separated compartments for different types of foods. Make sure to strive for variety daily and weekly to reduce mealtime boredom (and the temptation to pick up lunch).
With these meal planning tips, you’ll be on your way to a more consistent low oxalate diet this new year!