Meal plans can cause anxiety and overwhelm many people with ADHD. The thought of sitting down and planning three meals a day for seven days feels like a daunting task. On the contrary, many people “do whatever they want” when they are hungry and eat everything around them. Although this technique may not be the healthiest or most cost-effective way of eating, it does eliminate the need for meal planning.
However, if you are responsible for the nutritional needs of someone other than yourself, you might feel guilty if you order pizza for the fifth night in a row.
Meal plan benefits for people with ADHD
Meal plans have many benefits. The three main ones are:
When you make a meal plan, you have everything you need to make a complete meal in your kitchen! This means that urgent trips to the grocery store and inevitable impulse purchases will be reduced. You can also save money on dining out because there is nothing to eat at home.
Thanks to the meal plan, you always have the ingredients to cook. No more trying to fry chicken, only to find that I don’t have any chicken. When you consider factors such as parking and waiting in line for checkout, even a quick trip to the store can be time consuming.
Preparing and cooking your own food is much healthier than eating outside. To make food taste so delicious, restaurants add fat, salt and sugar. In contrast, when you cook at home, you can use less or less of these ingredients. You can also plan a varied diet, which helps ensure that you get all the necessary nutrients. Without a meal plan, you may find yourself in a default state and eating the same meals again and again.
How to create a menu rotation to facilitate meal planning
There is a good way to enjoy the benefits of meal planning without having to plan your meals repeatedly. This is the menu rotation.
Menu rotation is when you plan meals for a period of time, for example, three weeks, and then repeat these three-week menus again and again. Plan your menu once, and then you don’t have to do it again! It will completely change your diet and health.
Here is how to set up the system:
- In the bullet points, write down all the dinners you often make now. Your list may look like this.
- Find other meals you have cooked and liked in the past but forgot. Ask family members, research recipes in depth, or check cooking websites. Add these to your list. When you eat seven meals, you have the first week’s dinner!
- Write down all the ingredients needed for these meals.
- Now make the same lunch.
- Next plan your breakfast. Breakfast does not need to be the same variety as dinner.Maybe you have breakfast on weekdays and breakfast on weekends
- In the next few weeks, use the first week’s meal plan as a basis. Add new recipes until you have 21 days to eat. When you have 21 days, your work is complete! You have a weekly menu and a weekly shopping list.
- If you like to try new recipes, then allocate one night a week to try new recipes. If it is really delicious, it can be part of your rotation.