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Our Blog: October 3, 2018

Meal Planning at Home

By Nicole Spain, Registered Dietitian

Last week, I discussed how we create our menus at our schools and today, I’m going to show you how to develop well-balanced and delicious meals at home!  Here are some simple tips to help you get started:

  1. Checkout the MyPlate menu planner to help you along the way! Many people remember to plan the main entrée but then don’t think twice about the rest of the plate. So don’t forget that at all of your meals, half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables!  (And don’t forget whole grains, too!)
  2. Put your plan together on Friday and shop on Saturday.
  3. Choose your recipes carefully. Have a look at your calendar for the coming week and decide how many nights you want to cook dinner at home. Once you choose the number of nights, then you need to hone in even further. On the nights that you’re cooking, what do those meals need to do?  For example, on the night your kids have swim class, a 10 hour slow cooker recipe is a good idea.
  4. Pick the Right Recipe
    1. Choose meals that provide leftovers
    2. Cook recipes you know and only add one new recipe per week
    3. Pick recipes based on common ingredients
    4. Cook things you really want to eat
    5. Ask your children for input. They will be more likely to want to eat the items if they help pick them out.  Have your kids look through your favorite recipe books or websites to find ideas.
  1. Make a Master Ingredient List first. This is not your grocery list, but it will help you take inventory of what’s in your kitchen. Cross off everything you already have in your kitchen and now you have your grocery list. Feel free to reorganize it for easier shopping by grouping similar items together.
  2. Try out a grocery shopping app to streamline your grocery shopping routine. A favorite amongst families is “Our Groceries.” It’s available on iPhone, Android, Amazon Alexa and Google devices.

Check out my family’s menu plan for this week to help get some ideas!