Meal planning 101
A little planning can help you eat healthier and save time by cutting your trips to the grocery store. Here are a few tips to help get meals on the table with less stress.
Planning is key
- Plan during the weekends for the week ahead and check that you have the ingredients on hand.
- Keep the pantry stocked with healthy basics.
- Place an ongoing grocery list that everyone can see. If items run out, tell family members to add to the list.
- Plan for three meals and one to three small snacks each day, according to Dietitians of Canada. Skipping meals makes it difficult to get all the nutrients you need each day. Dietitians of Canada recommends choosing foods from the four food groups at each meal.
Here are a few additonal tips from Canada's Food Guide
Buy vegetables and fruit fresh when they are in season and freeze extras for later.
Choose canned or frozen vegetables and fruit; they are affordable and nutritious options.
Use beans, lentils and other legumes in place of meat a few times a week.
Stock up on canned goods and staples when they are on sale. Use them by their "best-before" date.
Get everyone involved
- Ask family members for meal ideas. Use a calendar or menu planner to write down favourite dishes as well as a list of ingredients to check against the shopping list. Live Right Now just launched a free meal planner and grocery list. Try it and let us know what you think!
- Make everyone a part of the meal planning. They can get involved in grocery shopping, cooking or cleaning up.
- Make extras: When you're cooking, double the batch so you can freeze the rest. Don't forget to label and date your frozen goodies. You'll have meals ready for when you don't have time to cook - instead of resorting to fast food.
Save time, eat healthier
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