Meal planning and prepping are wonderful skills to have in your personal health and wellness tool kit.

A well-thought-out meal plan can help you improve your diet quality or reach a specific health goal while saving you time and money along the way (1Trusted Source).

Here are 23 simple tips for developing a successful meal planning habit.

1. Start small
If you have never created a meal plan or are getting back into it after a long hiatus, it may feel a bit daunting.

Developing a meal planning habit is no different than making any other positive change in your life. Starting small and slowly building confidence is a great way to make sure your new habit is sustainable.

Begin by planning out just a few meals or snacks for the week ahead. Eventually, you’ll figure out which planning strategies work best, and you can slowly build upon your plan by adding in more meals as you see fit.

2. Consider each food group
Whether you’re preparing meals for a week, month, or just a few days, it’s important to make sure each food group is represented in your plan.

The healthiest meal plan emphasizes whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, high-quality protein, and healthy fats, while limiting sources of refined grains, added sugars, and excess salt (2Trusted Source).

As you scour through your favorite recipes, think about each of these food groups. If any of them are missing, make a point to fill in the gaps.