Tips for creating a food timetable (meal plan) as a student
Many times, I have heard my friends complain about not knowing what to eat or cook, how their funds are too low to afford what they would like to eat, how they need to make a plan for what to eat, and so on. As a student, you may not have time to prepare or think about what to eat. In this post, I will give you insightful tips for creating a food timetable (also known as a meal plan), as a student at a Nigerian university.
Make a list
The first step in creating a food timetable is making a list. It’s very important to make a list of everything you like to eat and also things that you can get within the area in which your school is located. It might be difficult to do, but you can ask around or even pick a day and go for a market survey in a market around your university.
Making a list helps you know your options. The types of food you can eat or can’t eat or the kinds of food you don’t like. In making a list, ensure to specify the light and heavy meals. While making a list, it is also essential to consider the nutritional value of what you are adding to your list.
Set a budget
When you are done, list all the foods you would like to have on your food timetable. Set a price tag on what it will likely cost to make each food. Although you may not add this to your meal plan, it gives you an idea of how to create your meal plan so that you won’t be spending too much money at a particular time.
Adding a cost tag to your food list lets you know how much it would cost to make a particular meal. This would help plan for that meal as you would know what to make and what to leave.
Draw a table
You can take a piece of paper and draw out a table. Your table should have seven rows to represent each day of the week and three columns, which would represent each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After drawing your table, prepare the meals the way you want them. On a Monday, for example, you could eat bread and tea for breakfast, beans and plantain for lunch, and yam porridge for dinner. Do this for each day of the week, mixing up the meals as you go.
|Bread and tea
|Beans and plantain
It is essential to keep in mind the cost, the type of food, and its nutritional value as you make your meal plan. Putting foods with almost the same nutritional value in the same place isn’t healthy. Also, putting foods that are a bit expensive to make on the same day might leave you stranded at some point.
Add snacks, fruits, and vegetables to your meal plan
As a student, most of the time, you might be too busy reading or working that you might forget to eat. When creating your meal plan, add healthy snacks to your list. Snacking while working is an excellent way to retain strength and avoid getting hungry before it’s time to eat. However, it is essential to ensure that you don’t eat too many snacks. Snacks that contain high amounts of sodium, sugar, and added fat should be avoided.
Eating fruits and vegetables is also essential, especially in between meals. That is in between your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stocking your cabinets
When you have finished your meal planning, you will need to stock your food cabinets with snacks. I discovered that buying certain good ingredients in bulk saves money, time, and energy. When stocking, take note of the prices to help you plan your next budget.
You won't need to go to the market every day if you stock your food cabinets, and you'll always have food in your house or hostel for when you need to cook. You could also include the days you would go to the market to restock your foodstuffs.
Creating a food timetable, especially as a student in Nigeria, might not be an easy task to do at first, but it becomes worth it in the end. Sometimes, most students might not have the time to cook or go to the market. Creating a food timetable prepares you for the next meal and helps you plan for it.
You can also change your meal plan twice or once every month, so you don’t get bored eating the same thing every week.