Adulting: Meal Planning 101




Meets for 30 minutes twice per week for 5 weeks.

When it comes to eating well, meal planning is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for success. The key is just to start, and to set aside a little bit of time each week to do it. There are so many ways to approach meal planning that, after practicing just once or twice, you’ll begin to find what works for you. Our eating situations can vary greatly from week to week depending on work schedules, after school activities, evening commitments, travel plans–the list goes on.

During this class, we will:
-set goals
-set a budget
-inventory pantry and other food-holding areas in the home
-learn how to review grocery store circulars
-learn how to plan meals based around what’s on hand (pantry/freezer/refrigerator sheet) and sales

After each week, we will review the week prior and make adjustments as needed.
Outside of class, students will need to go over their meal plans with their parents. Students and parents may complete the meal plan and grocery list together.

Inventory sheets, a sample menu, a calendar, a blank grocery list, and a sample printable blank monthly meal plan are provided by the teacher. Your learner will need to provide paper and a pencil, grocery store circulars from the stores which you most frequently shop (can be accessed online as well as in store), and a calculator.

Anticipated Course Outline

During our first class, we will go over all the attachments students have printed. We will discuss what a meal plan is and how it’s helpful. Homework after the first class will include filling out the inventory sheets and organization calendar (just listing preferred meals; every meal should have a protein (meat, fish or legume), a non-starchy vegetable, and a starchy vegetable or whole grain.) Each week, students should have an edited version of the inventory sheets (can draw a line through the same one if that works for you!), and have updated grocery store circulars.

Our second class will review the sheets previously completed and go over a grocery store circular. We will discuss sales and how shopping sales save. We will plan our first week of dinners only based on the inventory and sales. During this class, I will introduce different websites and apps for finding recipes based around on-hand ingredients. Parents–please help your students to ensure all meals are something the main house chef(s) will be able to handle and execute.

Week 3, students will review the previous meal plans in our first session, and discuss how recipes play into menu planning. We will review the circulars and plan our next week of dinner and lunch. Our second session will be a Q and A session from students to the teacher to reinforce knowledge and help with any lingering questions. Once we begin meal planning, every other class (the class that isn’t the one where we plan meals) is a shorter one typically, where we check in, gauge how everything is going, see what adjustments may need to be made, and discuss information generally related to the week’s meal plan.

Weeks 4-5 will have our first session going over the previous weeks’ meal plan, reviewing the circulars, and planning the next week’s meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Week 5, students should be able to plan three meals a day for a full week with minimal assistance from the teacher and parents.


This course is available upon request.