11 Jan Meal planning basics
Eating healthy meals can be easy even when you’re busy. All you need is a good plan. Spend a few minutes each week to plan your meals and snacks. This will help get meals on the table faster and save time and money.
Five simple tips for planning meals
There’s no right or wrong way to plan meals. Some people like to plan for the whole week ahead, while others plan for a couple of days. Do what works for you. Write down your meal and snack ideas on paper or use your Smartphone.
Use these tips to help with your planning:
- Follow Canada’s Food Guide when planning what to eat. Look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what foods you have on hand and what you need to buy.
- Keep a grocery list and jot down items as you run out of them. Add foods based on your meal plan.
- Encourage healthy habits by getting your children involved. Ask them to choose a favourite meal. Encourage your family to try a new food or recipe every now and then.
- Flip through grocery store flyers to take advantage of specials and use coupons to save money. Get healthy recipe ideas from magazines, cookbooks, and websites.
- Think about your family’s schedule. A busy week filled with sports and other activities could mean planning fast and easy meals.
- Use the Eat Well Plate to help you plan a healthy meal. Keep the proportions of food from the 4 food groups in mind when preparing your meal.
Ideas for planning snacks
Snacks help keep your energy levels up between meals. Plan to have healthy snacks on hand so you can skip less healthy choices in vending machines or coffee shops.
- Chop extra vegetables when cooking so you’ll have some for snacks. Try different dips with your veggies like hummus, tzatziki, fresh salsa, nut butters, and yogurt.
- Hard-boil eggs on the weekend. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week with the shell on. Pair them with your favourite vegetable.
- Stock up on easy to grab snacks: apples, pears, bananas, plums, grapes, fruit cups (packed in fruit juice), yogurt, granola bars with at least 4 grams of fibre, unsalted nuts, and small cans of low-sodium vegetable juice.
Source : Health Canada