19 Aug Pro tips on Meal Planning
One of the best ways to take the chance out of making a healthy choice when it comes to food is to set yourself up for success in terms of balanced nutrition by utilizing meal planning and food prep. There are many approaches and ideas on the internet. Keeping it simple and basic by using the protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable meal planning template can serve as a flexible guide to planning wisely. Additionally, there are free and paid for programs available online to eliminate the time spent planning.
In an article from Harvard School of Public Health some benefits of meal prep include:
- Can help save money
- Can ultimately save time
- Can help with weight control, as you decide the ingredients and portions served
- Can contribute to an overall more nutritionally balanced diet
- Can reduce stress as you avoid last minute decisions about what to eat, or rushed preparation
The Real Food RDs share a Meal Prep Series along with their Top 10 Meal Prepping Tips here:
- Take inventory of what you have on hand and decide which recipes you want to make.
- Create a grocery list.
- Choose some options that you can freeze.
- Set aside at least 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time.
- Wash your produce and pre-chop veggies the day before you meal prep.
- Start with a clean kitchen.
- When all of the food is prepped, organize your refrigerator.
- If you’re pressed for time, keep it short and sweet.
- Cooked foods that are destined for the freezer should be placed in the refrigerator to completely cool.
- Start with the items that take the longest.
And finally, the creator of SkinnyTaste, posts FREE, weekly meal plans that provide the meal and recipe for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Check out her weekly plans here.
As always, remember to aim for progress, not perfection and keep it simple by storing a mental picture of the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate to guide you at mealtime.
By Victoria Emmitt RD