2 Week Meal Plan for the Whole Family: Fall/Winter Menu

278

This family-friendly, two-week healthy meal plan is designed for the fall and winter months and is full of recipes the whole family will love that are easy to make — plus, it comes with a free printable shopping list.

I love having a plan when I’m cooking, if you do too, look at these posts: My Approach to Eating, What to Make for Dinner: Stop the 5 Oclock Dinner Planning and 3 Tips for Making Meal Prep EASY!

Healthy Meal Plan + Tips

If you want to feed your family well but aren’t sure where to start, this is the post for you. I have a whole foods approach to eating that your whole family will gobble up (with no health food store needed… score).

This meal plan is ideal for families because all of the recipes are beyond simple, the ingredients are easy to find, and your whole family will chow down the meals. If you are new to healthy eating or trying to eat with a focus on whole foods, this a great place to start because the recipes are very traditional while also being simply delicious, if I do say so myself.

I do want to mention that “healthy” is a relative term, and we may not agree on what it means. To me, it’s about balance, eating foods that make you feel good, and not restricting yourself. You can check out my food philosophy here (LINK). 

Healthy Eating Meal Plan: Fall and Winter Menu

Let me take the thinking out of feeding your family! This eating clean meal plan is great for busy families who want to eat at home more! You are going to love all of the tried-and-true recipes I’ve been making for my family of seven for years.

Breakfast:

Here are 14 breakfast ideas to start your morning off well.

  1. Scrambled Eggs + Muffins 
  2. Whole Wheat Waffles 
  3. Breakfast Burritos (with roasted sweet potatoes)
  4. Oatmeal (with frozen berries)
  5. Egg Bake
  6. Pancakes
  7. Granola + berries + milk (like cold cereal)
  8. Scrambled Eggs + Muffins
  9. Belgian Waffles
  10. Breakfast Cookies
  11. Oatmeal or Overnight Oats
  12. Egg Bake
  13. Pancakes
  14. Granola + berries + milk 

Tip: Make a double batch of the waffles and pancakes on the first day, and freeze half for the second time you plan to serve them for breakfast. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a toaster. Easy as can be!

Lunch:

Here are some simple lunch ideas for your family that can be made at home or taken on the go to work, school, or the park.

  1. Homemade Lunchables
  2. Quesadillas
  3. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
  4. Sandwich on a Stick Lunchbox Ideas
  5. Leftovers
  6. Hummus Sandwich
  7. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Remember: Don’t overthink lunch! I feel like this should be a fuss-free meal in the day.

I’ve made this EVEN EASIER! Sign up here to get a free PDF printable shopping list for the dinners included in this meal plan.

2 Weeks of Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

Dinner is the hardest meal of the day because everyone’s a little bit tired, and there’s still a lot left to do (homework, sports practice, baths, bedtime, cleanup, etc.). Here’s my easy meal plan that is perfect for fall and winter dinners that’ll take the stress out of getting the final meal of the day on the table! They’re hearty and will warm you up from the inside out during the chilly months.

Week 1

Day 1: Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes

Day 2: Ground Beef Enchiladas

Day 3: Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Day 4: Ground Beef Stroganoff

Day 5: Stove Top Chicken and Rice

Day 6: Sticky Chicken Legs 

Day 7: Leftovers/Eat out

Week 2:

Day 1: Slow Cooker Whole Chicken (use leftovers for chicken tetrazzini night)

Day 2: Slow Cooker pork for tacos 

Day 3: Chicken Tetrazzini

Day 4: Slow Cooker Potato Corn Chowder

Day 5: Pumpkin and Cauliflower Curry

Day 6: Chili and Cornbread

Day 7: Leftovers/Eat out

Sides for dinner:

I rely on frozen veggies a lot in the winter months because there aren’t as many fresh options available as warmer months. If you need a side for your meals, consider adding baked or roasted potatoes, roasted fresh veggies, steamed frozen veggies, or making a simple side salad (with a great dressing) to go with your meal.

Hard squashes like butternut, spaghetti, and acorn are in season, as well as other dark greens like Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage.

Fruits like apples, pomegranates, oranges, and other citrus fruits are also prime in the winter. Frozen fruit such as summer berries or peaches are also great (stock up and freeze them yourself when they are in season for added savings).

Snacks:

If your kids are like mine, I bet they come home hungry from school. This snack list is also great for things to send in school lunches.

  • You have lots of snack options that go beyond sliced fruit, vegetables, and string cheese sticks, but don’t discount those simple options, as well.
  • I always keep a veggie box in my fridge. It’s the best thing ever, and makes it way easier to eat veggies regularly!
  • One of my 8 No-Bake Oatmeal Bites are always in my fridge! My kids LOVE these.
  • Smoothies in all shapes and sizes. Just don’t get tricked into using sugar if your recipe calls for yogurt. Read that label!
  • Popcorn… Did you know you can pop it in a brown paper bag in the microwave?
  • Whole Wheat Graham Crackers.
  • Whole Peanuts. Peanuts in the shell are so much more fun to eat if you don’t mind the mess. Trust me.
  • Popsicles. Strawberry banana are a favorite around here. I make a double-batch of smoothies and freeze half in popsicle molds all the time, but you can also try freezing a 100% fruit juice for easy popsicles. Popsicles are the easiest way for my kids to enjoy fruit and hidden veggies.
  • Boiled Eggs.
  • No-Bake Date Balls. The peanut butter and jelly ones are our favorite.
  • I always have a loaf or two of 100% whole wheat bread ready to slice and butter. Just toast a piece and spread peanut butter on it for a really good and filling snack.
  • Healthy No-Bake Cookies.
  • Healthy Snack Bars.
  • Healthy Fruit Dip. This is perfect with apples for some extra protein and fat.

See? Meal planning is easy… Just let me do it for you!

I’ve made this EVEN EASIER! Sign up here to get a free PDF printable shopping list for the dinners included in this meal plan.

Love a fall and winter meal plan? Don’t worry, I have a summery one too! You can find my summer meal plan here.

I hope this free meal plan for families really helps you out, saves you time, and takes some of the thinking out of “what’s for dinner?”!

Subscribers get access to Dinner Made Easy meal plans, exclusive recipes, giveaways, and behind-the-scenes updates​! Sign up for my newsletter or get a new recipe every day.


Subscribe Now
38 Recipes for Busy Moms
278 Responses
  1. Carlos

    I loved what you shared about everything from week 2 because I was a little tired and stressed from work. I will combine all this with all this to continue improving in week .

  2. This is such a thoughtful post. I mean we usually find the personal meal and diet plans for healthy eating, but who thinks about the whole family? This whole 2 week diet plan is absolutely perfect for a whole family. Nice job.

  3. Stephanie

    I could do this my husband is the picky eater! He hates season and it kills me so we norohave my dinner and his lol I had gastric bypass 2 years ago and have list over 200lbs I don’t need all the bread and carbs the kids go I to full blown melt down

    1. Melissa

      Congrats on the weight loss Stephanie! That is AMAZING and hard earned, I bet it’s super tough to do it too when your family doesn’t eat the same way as you. I’m so proud of you. So you eat mostly low carb then? I feel best when I do too, but like you said, the husband and kids still eat plenty.

  4. Kathy

    I used almond milk, the batter seemed too thick so I added approximately 1/2 cup of non concentrate Orange juice to moisten the batter. Perfect addition to the maple flavor. Not sure why the batter was too thick, I used stone ground white wheat flour, which has a heavier consistency than other wheat flour I’ve found. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Rhonda

    Just wanted to say that I pinned this post from another pinner probably a year ago but never got the chance to read your post. Finally, today i clicked on the link and started reading “What clean eating means to me” and WOW I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. Thank you for a great reference on how to keep my family healthy but not crazy about what we eat.

  6. Carol Segarra

    I don’t have much time to bake bread, but I would like to make some rolls or something instead of the commercial bread. Do you have any referrals for recipes? Of course,only when you get a chance Thanks! Carol

  7. Gayle

    I just found your post and even though I haven’t had a chance to do more than skim over it (due to 4 screaming kids), I am already in LOVE with it. My family has started the Clean Eating diet as of the first of the year (20 days ago and counting), and so far we have been doing pretty good. We are actually doing the No Sugar/Sweetener challenge also, included in the whole grains, lean meat and no processed/refined foods. But while researching I also thought that I need to be realistic about our life. We cannot eat at home every night, and I can’t force my family to follow the diet if we go to McDonalds (I hate eating at McDonalds, but we have only like 4 restaurants here in our town, and the other ones aren’t much better.) ALSO, my husband is a meat and potatoes guy, and adding anything like quiona is considered a “Fou-fou food”, which limits what I can serve my family. So hearing that you are realistic about your food choices, not 100% shopping at Organic, whole food stores is a relief to me. I look forward to reading indepth what you do because it looks like something I will be able to relate too.

    1. You sound just like us and quinoa is total fou-fou here to. LOL! I’ve posted 3 meal plans since the beginning of the year, have you seen those new ones? They are for a week at a time and you might really like them!

  8. Ali

    Thank you so much!!! This is exactly what I need! I struggle with balance and needed you to tell me exactly what you did! The last week (our first week” of eating clean has made my kids miserable and I have to have balance for them! It’s hard for them to go from no veggies to nothing but veggies. Your a life saver!

  9. Britney

    hi i am looking for a grocery list for the 16 day meal plan for more the winter list of meals. i believe the first day starts w Tacos. Do you have a list for this meal plan. Thank you

  10. Noemi

    This might sound like a good try, but no fish?
    I mean at least twice a week woul be a good idea.
    And what about legumes? They are very healthy and inexpensive.

  11. Ingrid Shapiro

    I had saved your site, because I was interested in learning the difference between “Clean eating” and “Paleo”
    style eating. You are eating dairy and wheat, grains, just no additives. I noticed you eat “lunch meat”, This is highly processed. What am I not understand on this? Thanks Ingrid

    1. I wrote this post a few years ago. Paleo didn’t hardly exist and “clean” meant totally different things. I’m just trying to do the best I can, but I am not a great resource for those kind of diets. And as far as the lunchmeat goes, Applegate brand has some really nice choices with hardly anything in them!

    1. Noe Cali Love

      I’m wondering the same thing. This isn’t “clean” eating but maybe for someone that is going from a standard American diet full of junk, this is a good first step. Hoping you eliminate even more processed foods over time, your family won’t miss them if you do it gradually. Good luck on your clean eating journey! I am going through the transition myself 🙂

    2. Gemeni

      I was thinking the same. This is not clean eating at all and contains a number of processed foods. Remember if it doesn’t come from the ground, ocean, tree or plant it is processed. Very unhealthy plan to me.

    1. It just depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll do oil and vinegar, make homemade mayo (which is really normal ingredients), or if I think of it I’ll might get an organic mayo, though the easiest option it still has the most preservatives, and once in a while I try to use plain green yogurt and never love the results. Do what’s best for your day!

  12. Shari

    Hi!
    Not to be a pain, but is there actually a grocery list being mailed out? I just found this sight on pinterest and would love to try this! I’m weird and don’t want to leave my email address, though.
    Thank you for the great post!

  13. Anngalyn

    may I please get your shopping list? I originally pinned this months ago but finally have the opportunity to try it. my husband and I both really need to get healthier and want to raise our little ones with healthy eating habits. thank you. my email is a3n679@gmail.com

    1. Just emailed it! And all I do for the chicken is stick it in there (frozen most of the time) and salt it really well. No water, no nothing. And then I let it cook until it’s really tender. Super easy!

  14. Dr. Michele Pisciotta

    I really believe that this is a reasonable way to approach life and food. We all need to have our treats and my kids definitely enjoy theirs. I try really hard to just keep introducing new healthy options and I explain it to them. They often choose a piece of fruit or a string cheese before anything else!

  15. Eating clean is just like developing any new habit. It take a few weeks to get into the groove and a bit of foresight and planning. I keep lots of nuts on hand for snacks. If you buy lettuce by the head instead of the packaged variety, you have lots of larger leaves that can be used for wraps too, instead of tortillas

  16. Amber

    OMG, yes! We just bought a house and I’ve been trying to find a way to buy groceries without bankrupting us, and still manage to eat fairly healthy. Pinning this for sure!

  17. Debbie

    Hi! Just saw this; read most of the comments and replies and apparently you’ve emailed several grocery lists! Wonder if I might have one too, please? Our daughter and her familyeat “clean”, but this actually looks like something my husband and I could do (shock!!) 🙂 …… just has a much more ‘practical’ approach to me!! Would love to give this a try; and seems like I’m hitting this at just the right time of the year!! 🙂 Thank you!!

  18. amanda

    I Love this plan! My husband is super picky about food and he has a high metabolism so he can eat whatever He wants but I wasn’t blessed with such abilities sadly lol. I think this could be a good middle ground for us! Compared to how we ate when we got married 2 years ago (90% ramen noodles and frozen pizza lol) this is a huge leap forward! I do have an issue though; I am allergic to eggs so what can I sub in for the eggs in the plan? I figured for the breakfast I could just make grits or something instead? Like the homemade kind not the little Quaker packets lol. But I’m not sure what to replace the egg in the lunch part with. Thanks so much!

    1. Allergic to eggs! How sad! Honestly, if you can figure out breakfast then I would plan on leftovers for lunch. If you are cooking real food every night you end up with plenty to eat for lunch! Enjoy! I’ll send you the shopping list too if that will help! M.

  19. Alyssa Saenz

    I would love a shopping list for this exact plan please! Going shopping today and this is just perfect for me and my husband!

  20. Melissa from Oregon

    You are awesome for doing this! Thank You! My son has food sensitivities. He cannot have artificial coloring or flavorings, additives or preservatives or anything that has salidic acid naturally occurring in it like tomatoes, oranges etc. Makes it hard for all of us, but this clean eating gives me new hope! This is exactly how we need to be eating for him. Its better for us all!

  21. Jane

    It’s important to buy all organic foods and milk as well as grass fed beef, free range eggs and chicken. Otherwise, you’re putting chemicals and pesticides right back into your body. Thanks for the comprehensive list, though.

    1. And I’d say that it’s even more important to raise your own animals for meat and eggs and live seasonally from your garden and home-canned food. But both of our ideals aren’t the introduction to real food 🙂 So let’s keep spreading the good word of real food and encouraging everyone to do their best! Thanks for the comment Jane 🙂

  22. Malia

    Our family eats the same way and we have been for years. My husband and I have 4 little ones who understand the importance of knowing what’s in our food and cooking/baking from scratch. They are all excellent eaters! That being said, we love the occasional trip to the ice cream shop or a night out for dinner. That’s what gives us a good balance in life without feeling like we have to subscribe to anything extreme or trendy in regards to an eating plan. This is realistic and healthy and doesn’t cost a fortune! I also think it is a true lifestyle. Other “diets” and gimmicky fads will eventually go out of style, but clean eating is forever!!

  23. This is great and will help with meal planning this week, I’ve recently switched us over to using foods that are not processed and this will help. A big part is getting rid of all the genetically modified foods though so I’ll just use our organic and GMO free ingredients. Thanks for the great info.

    1. Cookie Odee

      I’m so glad i found this website on Pinterest. Can you please email me the grocery list. Thank you and look forward to following you.

  24. misty

    I think this is great! Found this via pinterest, and I love the way you explain your self! Very insightful! I’m a south Texas woman that was raised on good food that was very proccesed! In the last 2 and a half I have winged my self from caffeine, msg and anything that has more than 5 ingredients in it. My girlfriends don’t understand me and think I am “picky” and “weird” that I won’t eat there pre package food…maybe by sending them your post they can understand the way I choose cook…food doesn’t have to be loaded with all that crap for it to be southern or comfort! Thanks for sharing. Keep on doing what you do…it’s GREAT!!

  25. Kim

    Oh my just found this post via Pinterest! Thanks so much for an amazing post for us common crazy busy families that needs it kept simple! I cannot keep up with popular health trends nor find specialized foods for recipes. That is perfect and great!!

  26. Mrs.Cole

    This may be “realistic” but there still is a few processed foods here that I would certainly avoid. Pretty easy to eat clean, it’s mostly will power that’s the problem. Need a nice sugary tasting treat? Try supplementing a regular brownie recipe for a protein powder brownies, or fat free Greek yogurt with fruit or mix in more protein powder.

  27. Cheline

    Greetings! This is wonderful! I am a mother of three small children and have been learning to adjust our meals. I grew up on a small hobby farm where all of our vegetables were grown in our garden and our meat was hunted, eggs were from our chickens and any apple product was from our very own apple trees. The blissful life of Montana 😉 now as an adult and mother raising 3 kiddos and very far from the world I grew up in (my husband is in the marine corps) it has been a constant struggle to still want the diet I grew up on and face what we have in reality. I love your realistic approach on meals and have recently come to this same equilibrium myself within our meals. Thank you for your genuine approach, it is a comfort to know there are other mamma’s out there with this same attitude!
    Have a beautiful day!

  28. Beth

    Thanks so much for taking all the time to get these on your blog for the rest of us!! I appreciate all the effort & am excited to share these with my family! Have a great summer!!!

  29. Donna Peck

    I’ve seen a magazine called Eating Clean, & I’m perplexed at why it & you call it “clean” when in fact eating pork or shellfish is not clean. They are “scavengers”, & everything they eat becomes a part of their flesh, including excrement. Thats why we should avoid them like the plague. Other than that I enjoyed your post & agree with all the other things you say about food.

  30. tricia

    I don’t understand. Aren’t lunch meats processed as well as taco shells. Mayo for tuna or chicken salad? How do you get around that?

    1. Amanda

      I agree. I thought lunch meat is supposed to be horrible? Of course she did say 80/20, maybe that’s included in the 20%. Awesome blog though, would be really nice with grocery list!

  31. ronna

    Your clean plan has processed food. Fresh fruits , vegetables , beans, unprocessed meat, nuts are clean. Everything else is processed.

    1. I spend about $500 a month on everything “household” including food (that my soaps for dishes and laundry, any paper goods, and most other things get lumped into that). So that would put you at about $250 for the two weeks, so maybe $100 a week for just the food? We rarely eat out, so that saves a bunch of money but that also means that I’m serving 3 square meals a day. It’s also a little bias because I have a huge garden and I can a lot. I never buy tomatoes but use them a lot (I have them on the shelf from last year’s garden!) and I grind my own wheat berries for flour… and on the opposite end I live in a tiny town and the food prices are quiet high. I don’t shop around or “hit the sales” because there aren’t any sales really and theirs only one store. So I think in the end it all comes out in the wash. What do you think? Was too much info 🙂 Thanks for asking though, it was great to hear from you!

      1. Keri

        That was perfect for me, that is roughly what I spend a month for 4 if us. We have some rising health issues and better diet would 100% help with it. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Jenni

    I just found your website and I love it. Finally, someone that is normal! I want to eat well and am trying to learn from others that know more but are realistic. I can not afford all organic and I’m a normal person. I share your same philosophy- eat 80/20. Thanks so much for sharing all of the helpful info. I will be looking forward to further posts from you.

  33. Seija Lawrence

    Thank you so much! It is SO hard for me fin meal plans that are healthy and budget friendly (and tasty sounding) at the same time. I’m so excited to try these recipes! Do you have a broccoli soup recipe that you love? I have tried a few without great luck. . .

  34. Leesa Atwood Kline

    FYI: Mountain High has a super yummy banana cream flavored yogurt. We haven’t been able to find it in years…but perhaps in your area it will appear?!

    1. Melissa

      What?! I can only ever find plain and vanilla! They had a honey one once that I loved but I can’t get it anymore… I’m on the hunt for that banana though it sounds divine!

  35. Rena

    Hi:) I love that you grind your own wheat. I’m assuming you buy it bulk … Where from and do you grind it as you need it or do you grind it when you buy it so you have it on hand? Do you have to store it in the freezer or can you keep it in the pantry like regular flour? Have you made your own whole wheat pasta?

    1. Melissa

      Hey! I’m so excited to find a kindred spirit! I buy hard white wheat berries in a 5 gallon bucket from my grocery store (an emergency or preparedness store has them too). I grind about a gallon at a time and keep it in fridge. Depending on how much I’m baking that lasts be about a week. So I grind once a week or so and store the rest. I haven’t made homemade whole wheat pasta but a pasta making attachment for the Kitchen Aid is on my want list! Have you made any??

  36. Krissy

    Just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your cleaner, yet down to earth meal plan. I have been wanting to clean up our eating for so long but anytime I tied, I got so overwhelmed with all the fancy ingredients and even fancier health food store requirements. It was enough to just make me say forget it, and i did, for too long. I decided to try again and found you through Pinterest. I actually read your second eating clean 2 week plan first but was excited to find that you had already created a wintery meal plan. You have no idea how relieving it is to know that we can eat cleaner (and believe me, your recipes are cleaner) than what we have been eating and I can still cook recipes that are “normal” if I may say that. I know for some this may not be what their looking for but for us, and many others according to the comments, this is just what we need to get over our fear of eating clean because there is so much involved. We are a larger family, 7 of us, so special ingredients are usually not in the budget cause they are usually pricier. With the list I just made up using your recipes, I know that I will find everything I need, at reasonable prices and my list contains no processed foods. Yay! Again, thanks so much. You really have helped me believe that I.Can.Do.This.

    1. Melissa

      Krissy! Kindest comment ever! Thank you for making my day… I’m so with you on a big family and just needing normal food that is still good for you! Please let me know how it goes, I love getting feedback! And yeah to the big family, we have 4 little ones but I don’t think our family if finished growing yet 🙂 So excited to make a new friend. Enjoy!

  37. Angela Roby

    OMG I love you. THIS is so needed in my life right now & it actually doesn’t sound like complete & utter hell like most diets/ healthy meal plans do!

  38. Candice

    I think this is a good start, but there seems to be a lot of meat on the menu, I see just skimming through. I would replace with at least 3 days of fish. Not sure where you are located, and understand that fish may be challenging.

    1. Melissa

      Great idea! We love fish but have access to so little in the middle of the dessert… I’d buy some at Costco but we are a full 2 hours from any kind of large grocery store and I get nervous about packing fish that far out of the refrigeration.

  39. Kim

    Gotta love Pinterest 🙂 Just found this and will also read your summer post as well. Thanks for taking the time to detail all this stuff!!! I didn’t grow up in a house that had much home cooking, so I’m still learning my way around the kitchen but it’s worth it for my family. This gives me hope!

  40. This is such a great post and exactly what I was looking for! I’m definitely going to have to give all of this a try. I’m new to the whole “clean eating” concept, and I wish that I had started doing it sooner.

  41. I love this post. It’s me and how I feel about cleaning eating for my family and I. We only recently started and I am still soaking up all of the tips and tricks out there. When I came across your post I seriously thought I had wrote it. The whole 80 to 20 ratio is where we found comfort and it works great for us. And like you said when were out of the house it’s a different ball park. I’m mean I don’t hit the drive thru but you get my drift. Great post and I’m now following your blog. I would love to share this post or have you write up something for a guest feature. Warm wishes and happy clean eating!

  42. Angel

    We tend to eat pretty healthy foods but ruin it with the condiments! Our kids are dip-happy! Everything has to dip in something. Do you have suggestions for clean varieties to ween them away from so many dips? For example, ranch on everything! And what sandwich spread do you eat on a sandwich to get away from mayo?

    1. Melissa

      I,m so with you on the condiments… and that’s where I tend to spend a little money buying organic things. I buy an organic mayo and then I make my own ranch (probably not perfectly healthy but my kids are tiny and we all love ranch!) so I just do about 1 c. mayo 1 c. buttermilk and then salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, and freeze-fried chives (if I have them but they are really good) to taste. Don’t be shy with the seasoning or salt. It is honestly SUPER good and people don’t even know it’s not from a packet. I need to blog the recipe!! I just buy organic ketchup too and we don’t eat many other condiments I guess… Thank you so much for the comment! I sure love hearing from you. M.

  43. Kimberlyn

    About how much was all of that? I’m trying to eat healthy but I’m on a cheap budget for two and I have to make it last for two weeks.

    1. Melissa

      Hey Kimberlyn (cute name!). In the comment section of the Spring/Summer eating clean menu that I link to in the top of this post I wrote a big fat ole paragraph about the cost! If you don’t mind popping over their I don’t have to retype it 🙂

      Thanks! M.

  44. kayleigh

    I love this! thank you, this came just in time. did you by any chance post the grocery list of the itmes to buy? I want to follow this exactly just to help keep me in line. thanks hun, again you did an awesome job at this one.

  45. Sierra

    Eating clean is so important….have to be careful with certain dairy & meat products, in those cases organic and/or local is best….also, most pickles add yellow food coloring, make sure to check your labels and most corn chips are GMO, it’s all about reading ingredients too, companies are very tricky with their “all natural” healthy labels.

  46. Steph

    There is a lot of dairy in your menu. You should do some research on dairy and how it affects your body. A great book to read is It Starts With Food.

  47. Jennifer Bryant

    Love your ideas and the meal plan sounds amazing! Going to try this over the next 2 weeks, I love your 80/20 plan and think this will totally work in my house too thanks!!

  48. Jennifer

    Sprouted grains are ideal as whole wheat is overly processed usually and not as beneficial. Also consider raw milk or switching to almond, or flax milk. They have more calcium and vitamins than processed, pasteurized cows milk but with way less calories and sugar. No pork or shellfish, these are not the clean meats. I’m a mom of 4, we’ve been eating biblically clean for 5 years. We also removed all chemicals and use natural cleaning products as well as body products. It’s very affordable to do! It takes time to learn to shop and honestly with produce you just have to get to the store often, but it’s worth it. I don’t stress either on sugar or treats. Our motto is, if its made to be digested by our body we will eat it. Lol

  49. Kailie

    How in the world do you store and keep your groceries fresh for two weeks, especially the produce? Maybe a blog post on this topic? 🙂 Love this post and am up for the challenge!

  50. Colleen

    I’m with you on most of this, especially no artificial sweeteners and choosing whole grain options over traditional, but lunch meat is horrible! It is processed to the extreme and should be eliminated from a clean eating plan. Thank you for sharing your ideas and your honest approach to teaching children about healthy eating choices!

  51. This is almost exactly how we eat. I am HUGE on no cereal 100% of the time, and instead make clean healthy breakfasts in mass quantity so they are easy to reheat all week. 🙂 It takes a little planning and creativity to eat this way, but people don’t understand how INCREDIBLE you feel when you are eating clean! I will say this, my body really notices when I eat the junk – I really pay for it! Thanks for sharing – love getting new menu ideas! 🙂

  52. Angela

    I personally wouldn’t consider this to be “clean”: non-organic dairy, lots of flour/wheat and lunch meats? I mean, you’re eating a step up from a SAD diet, but that’s about it.

  53. My family and I just started clean eating a month ago. I stumbled upon your post via pinterest. I’m always on the look out for new recipes and ideas. So far with clean eating it has helped my family in so many ways. We all have medical issues and it’s amazing how much this is helping us all.

  54. Felecia

    I am looking forward to your cleaning eating 2 week plan for Summer. I can’t seem to find it, so I’m assuming you are still working on it.

    1. Melissa

      Such a slacker I am… I have it worked out but not all of the recipes ready for posting. Maybe I’ll post the meal plan without recipe and fill it in as I go?!

      1. felecia

        No pressure! Finish when you have time. I can’t start until after the 8th since I will be out of town anyway… just let us know when it is up 🙂

  55. I am so glad you added this to my board on Pinterest…thanks! This is exactly the mindset that I have about eating clean. I believe approaching it in this way makes it more of a sustainable option for every member of our family for a life time. Not too lenient, not too strict but a healthy respect for whole foods with homemade sweets thrown in in moderation! I can’t wait to explore the rest of your blog!

  56. carrie m

    Just found you on Pinterest. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I wrote this post. I try to be clean and real! I’ve pinned and will try your recipes. Thanks!

    1. Melissa

      If I had all the recipe for this I would totally add one but since I didn’t get them all up I don’t have one. I’m working on a spring and summer menu and will be sure to do a shopping list with it!!!

  57. Corrie

    Just found this on pinterest…absolutley love this post! I almost thought I wrote it for a minute, we think so much alike! 😉 One thing I noticed is that clean eating takes a little more planning ahead and time during the week. So I’ve started clean cooking for my freezer too…saves so much time after a busy day at work, then running kids around. Its just as easy as grabbing fast food, minus all the yuckies!! Looking forwars to reading more of your site!!

  58. Sherida

    I love this! My kids are dairy free so I would have to adjust several of the recipes but I am always looking for ideas to help us eat cleaner without making trips to the health food store (it’s so expensive). Thanks for posting your menu!!

  59. soliferi

    Stevia is a good natural sweetener, best for baking and tea. get it as unprocessed as possible (apparently it’s a green colour but I haven’t found that myself..). It lasts a long time too.

  60. Chrisite

    I’m with you but what do you do if your children do not eat eggs or bread? they never have and I doubt they ever will they are 7 and 2 1/2.

    1. Melissa

      Do they not eat bread as in bread products too? Would they eat pizza?! I’m actually working on a summer eating clean menu as we speak and it is very unbread and uneggy if that makes sense. I think you’ll like it 🙂 and you’ll have some more ideas to work with. It should be up in the next week or 2.

  61. Erin H

    Did you sub honey for the sugar in your breadsticks and use whole wheat white in your pizza crust or did you do them as is? Looking over the recipes and adding to my clean eating list 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Melissa

      Yes, with great success. I grind the hard white wheat berries and home and use that for everything! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  62. Rene

    just linked in from pinterest, LOVE IT! I always tell people if I cant pronounce the ingredient, I probably dont want it in my body. I also love to cook and enjoy getting my kids in with me. Don’t consider myself a health nut or anything, we just like REAL food 🙂 I usually make up a list of dinners two weeks at a time and post it on the fridge. I have already gone to the store for all those ingredients based on whats on sale in our local markets. Then, whatever we feel like eating that night, I know I have everything to make it without running to the store and being tempted to get other things we really dont need.

  63. Natasha

    Thanks for sharing! Our family (our 5 yr old daughter, 2 yr old son, spouse and I) recently started cutting out additives (MSG, polysorbate 60/80, potassium sorbate, colors etc) and our family (my parents) think we’re nuts. We have been told our son may have Autism and our daughter has Anxiety. So we think that cutting out anything that’s not “normal” will help them both. With only having been about a month or so since we started we have found some huge differences. Our daughter has become more independent and our son’s “fits” are slowly getting better. With myself I have noticed less headaches and tummy troubles. I wish more companies would get rid of all those additives and that restaurants would too. We wanted to go out to eat as a family the other night but since most have additives we decided against it.

    1. Melissa

      MSG is so scary! And little changed like that are such a great, happy place to start. I’m surprised people are giving you fits about caring what your kids eat… that’s too bad. I hope it goes so well for you and your babies too!

  64. Thank you for posting about this! I love what you say and your 80% – 20% strategy. I have good intentions to feed my family better but always feel like it was an “all or nothing” sort of commitment and we like our treats! Reading this helps me feel like eating better is do-able and can still be enjoyable! Thank you!

  65. Michelle

    This is a great post! Thank you! I’m slowly but surely converting me and my 8-yr old to cleaner eating and your no-fuss, not super fancy meal plan is awesome. I can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog.

    1. Melissa

      No… It’s something I thought I would work on slowly but obviously it’s real slow 🙂 I just use traditional recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. If the recipe for meatloaf has white bread crumbs or cracker crumbs just sub in whole wheat bread crumbs. I like to grate in zucchini and carrots too. It’s just about adapting what you already love to clean it up a bit. Does that help!? I’ll update the post as I post other recipes for sure!

  66. Miranda Tokoly

    I love this so much!! I also like Brittany’s idea about the grocery list! I am the worst at grocery shopping. Thanks for so many great meal plans!

  67. Nan

    Thank you for this post! It’s so nice to finally see someone make eating clean “normal.” As in, these are foods I could actually get my family to eat. And I think you are absolutely correct in taking a balanced approach.

  68. Liz

    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you! We just started eating clean (being intentional) about 6 weeks ago and this is such a ‘real’ way to explain it…i love how you talked about eating out of the house because i have been around the kids whos parents make you feel uncomfortable and on eggs shells about what their kids are eating so when i started i make it clear (well not to the kids lol) that outside of the house they can eat ‘normal’ -in moderation – but i didnt want anyone feeling uncomfortable but i do fell good about how our habits have changed at home. And some websites are about eating clean but the food is also something you would never eat! Anyhow all this to say thank you for being practical :):)

    1. Melissa

      Thanks so much for the great (and so nice) comment. I still cringe when they get fruit snacks at Library story time but I think you have to be a bit “normal” to raise healthy kids. We definitely teach them at home what foods are extra good and try to encourage them like them, but fruit snacks are part of childhood right?! I just don’t have to buy them 🙂 Keep me updated… I’d love to know how it goes for you and if you have any big bumps in the road…

      1. Maria

        That would be awesome. Do you drink coffee? I love my coffee but I can’t get away from artificial sweeteners. What do you recommend?

        1. Melissa

          I don’t drink coffee but you are way better off putting a few spoonfuls of sugar in than anything artificial. Do a bit of reading about the fake stuff and it should scare you off it 🙂 It’s bad news!

        2. Nayive

          I drink one cup every morning, I don’t use sugar and make my creamer: evaparate milk, cinammon sticks, and vanilla. Put everything in a pot, let boil reduce heat until is thick. Then enjoy your coffee

  69. i love this! very real, very doable, and not preachy. it doesn’t make me feel like i’m poisoning my kids – it motivates me to make small, easy changes to eat more healthy in our home. thank you thank you thank you! i’m going to make my shopping list now!

    1. Melissa

      Hurray!! And honestly, if you don’t have a huge family plan on making about 12 of the meals and having leftovers once a week. With all the cooking you will have leftovers (which I love!). Thank you so much for your kind comment, it’s so fun to get feedback!

    1. Melissa

      Thanks! I’m all about “normal” but still whole foods… my family doesn’t want to eat weird healthy food store foods and I can’t afford them 🙂 This may not be perfect to lots of people but it works really well for us and I hope you like it too! Let me know if you do it!

  70. My name is Becka

    Thank you for posting a whole plan, plus recipes. It’s so much easier when I don’t have to figure our what to make. Plus, this sounds amazing.

  71. Eliza Kay

    Those pickles are my favorite and I use them as my reward as well:) My boyfriend hates them though and can smell them a mile away!

    Great post, I definitely need to start something like this!

    Always,
    Eliza

  72. emily

    Great post, friend! I’m totally in the same boat. I eat as healthy as possible for my regular meals, but when I want a treat, I want a good homemade one! Love these ideas. Way to go!

  73. Our family has gone “non-sugar” almost entirely (except treats. What is the point of a pie if it doesn’t have sugar in it?). This has been FANTASTIC for us especially because, for Ry and I at least, the processed food gives us headaches and other issues. 😛 We still eat out and enjoy food like that, but we keep it about 80/20 like you. Question, though… do you avoid using sugar in things like pancakes? Your recipe calls for it, and I’ve never been able to make honey work in the pancakes… have you? (We use sugar in our pancakes now, I’m just curious…)

    1. I do use sugar in my waffles/pancakes and also in the green curry. They both have so little per serving that I think it’s ok. You are right though, honey doesn’t seem to work well in those things. You should share your pie crust recipe with me 🙂

    2. Karen

      You’ve probably found a solution by now but “Picky Palate” has a delicious pancake recipe using honey. I think she calls it honey, flaxseed pancakes or something.

  74. Carrian Cheney

    I am totally with you. We eat pretty good most of the time, and then treats occasionally. Even what I post gets sent out to neighbors no matter how healthy it is just so we aren’t stuffing our faces all of the time

    1. I always seem to be baking for a church, community, family, or friend function! So rarely make treats without a reason (and people to share with!). If I don’t have a reason and want a treat then we invite friends over 🙂 I’m an excellent face-stuffer so I have to avoid the temptation too.

Leave a Reply

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

Dinner Ideas for Busy Moms