Simple Healthy Meal Plan for Young Adults

I have a simple and healthy meal plan for young adults living on their own for the first time. Share the printable with your kids who have recently moved out, college age kids or missionaries, to make sure they are getting balanced, good nutrition!

When your kids move out for the first time, whether they are going to college, or serving a mission, you would hope they won’t start living on Mac & cheese or ramen.

Even if you taught them to cook good, balanced, nutritious meals, suddenly when they move out, they can’t think of any healthy meal ideas. Trust me. I’ve been there with two kids already.

My daughter, who is currently serving a mission for our church, called and said she and some of her mission friends needed some meal ideas and were looking for a simple, but healthy meal plan.

I told her I would definitely create something they could use.

What Healthy Food Young Single Adults Should Be Eating

My nutrition message to any young adult or college age kid is loud and clear. Eat a balance of all the food groups. Protein, vegetables, fruit and grains are all essential to stay healthy and thrive during these stressful years. (get my best 7 day meal plan, using the foods, groups here)

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

For a healthy breakfast when these college kid are buying their own groceries, I wanted to

  • Keep the meal ideas simple, so they would have minimal groceries to buy.
  • Include at least three of the food groups: Proteins, fruit, and grains.

Breakfast week 1

  • Proteins: Eggs (Scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, omelets, frittata, poached eggs, breakfast burrito, egg sandwiches)
  • Grains: Toast or cereal
  • Fruit: Bananas or oranges

Breakfast Week 2

  • Proteins: Eggs (Scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, omelets, frittata, poached eggs, breakfast burrito)
  • Grains: Oats or pancakes
  • Fruit: Berries or melons
Bright line eating breakfast eggs oats and blueberries

Healthy Lunch Ideas

For lunch, I’m adding all 4 food groups. Protein, grains, fruits and veggies.

Lunch Week 1

  • Proteins: lunch meat
  • Grains: bread or tortilla
  • Fruit: apples or berries.
  • veggies: Carrots or cucumbers

Options: Sandwiches, salads, wraps

Lunch Week 2

  • Proteins: nut butter, seed butter, or beans.
  • Grains: bread or tortilla
  • Fruit: bananas or apples
  • veggies: snow peas or bell peppers

Options: Sandwiches, salads, wraps

Healthy Dinner ideas

These dinner ideas have a strategy! Week 1 is all chicken and rice dinners. This lets the kids cook chicken for the whole weeks worth of meals, and save money on groceries by purchasing one meat, rather than several. (get my favorite chicken dinners here.

Week 2 is all ground beef. Again, they can make the ground beef once and use it all week, and save money on groceries.

I was hoping to not have to send recipes with these meal ideas, because the meal ideas should be flexible enough that any amount of these ingredients will do. They can use leftovers if they need, or leave an ingredient out if it’s too expensive.

However, if they need recipes as well, Allrecipes is a great resource and missionaries do have access to the database. You can find chicken recipes here, and ground beef recipes here.

Chicken and Rice Dinner Ideas

  • Monday: Mexican chicken and rice: Chicken, Salsa, Rice, Beans, Bell peppers
  • Tuesday: cheesy chicken and rice skillet: chicken, Rice, Mushrooms, Cream of chicken soup
  • Wednesday: Southwest BBQ chicken and rice: chicken, BBQ Sauce, Rice with butter, Green salad
  • Thursday: Asian chicken and rice: chicken, soy sauce, Rice, Broccoli, Green onions
  • Friday: Italian chicken and rice: chicken, spaghetti sauce, Rice, mozzarella, Green salad
BBQ chicken rice salad blueberries on balanced plate

Ground beef Dinner Ideas week

  • Monday: Mexican tacos: Ground beef, Salsa, tortillas, Beans, Bell peppers
  • Tuesday: cheesy beef and pasta skillet: ground beef, pasta, Mushrooms, Cheese, Cream of mushroom soup
  • Wednesday Southwest chili: Ground beef, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, Cheese, tortilla chips
  • Thursday: Asian beef and broccoli: ground beef, soy sauce, Rice, Broccoli, Green onions
  • Friday: Italian: spaghetti: Ground beef, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, Green salad

Get this PDF printable of the meal plan to forward to your adult, college age kids, or send it to them in your next care package!

healthy meal plan for young adults college student or missionary
healthy meal plan for young adults college student or missionary week 2
basic healthy meal plan for young adults

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