We all know that a few minutes of preparation can go a long way to ensure a successful result. Meal planning is no different. Here are four easy tips to get you on the right track.
4 Steps to Healthier Meal Planning
#1 – Plan to plan just a few meals per week.
You don’t have to plan a meal for every day of the week. Just two or three planned meals can help you get on the right track.
#2 – Build your meals around these food groups.
*in accordance with the USDA MyPlate plan
- 1/2 of your plate: Fruits & veggies
- 1/4 of your plate: Lean protein
- 1/4 of your plate: High fiber starch (like whole grains)
#3 – Try to limit or avoid processed foods.
Extra processes equals fewer nutrients, so choose foods in this order:
- Fresh (pre-cut is a great, time-saving option) or Frozen
- Pre-prepared frozen or canned (ex: canned soups, TV dinners – including vegetables frozen with sauce)
#4 – Use technology to help you get organized.
There are lots of helpful digital solutions that can help you reach your health goals through meal planning, such as:
These apps allow you to access recipes, assign recipes to days of the month and even automatically build your grocery list.
Plan Ahead to Make Better Choices
When you have to improvise your meals because you don’t have a plan, you are much more likely to snack all day or resort to fast food, frozen meals, or processed foods for sustenance. If you plan ahead, you are more likely to make better choices, eat less, avoid weight gain and you’ll just feel better.
If you have meal planning suggestions or technologies that have worked well for you and your family, please share because we would love to hear about them.
About Monika Kraus
Monika Kraus is a dietitian with WakeMed Physician Practices – Corporate and Community Health. Monika regularly presents classes in workplaces around Wake County, helping employees lead healthier, more productive lives. Learn more about WakeMed’s Corporate and Community Health workplace wellness solutions.