Meal Planning for Healthy Options
With all of the recent emphasis on healthy diet and exercise, meal planning has become a much-talked-about dietary tool. Planning your meals means much more than just making a grocery list. Meal planning can include mapping an entire month's food and snack choices to ensure that your diet is both nutritious and delicious. Although this might seem like a chore, meal planning has become much easier with simple Apps available for smart phones and planners that are downloadable and free on the Internet. Computer programs and smart phone apps aside, it really only takes a pencil and a piece of paper to begin meal planning and make healthy food choices for your family and yourself.
The most important reason to plan meals is to provide your household with healthy meal and snacking options. This can be of immense help to anyone in the family who is trying to lose weight or reduce cholesterol. Even if your family does not need help with any disease or health issues, meal planning is perfect for providing children and teens with nutritious snacking options. Rather than reaching for the bag of potato chips, many children will choose healthful snacks if those snacks are made available at all times. A refrigerator filled with sodas and fatty foods creates an easy way for the family to choose only those foods. A refrigerator filled with fresh fruits and vegetables makes it hard to seek out those "bad snacking options".
The first step to meal planning begins with a thorough inventory of your cabinets and refrigerator. Removing items that are past their expiration date or wilted or unappetizing will create space for some nutritious alternatives. Once you have removed all of the damaged or expired foods, try to begin picking out those fatty snacks and other items that are not as healthy as they could be for your family. Remove the cookies and potato chips and you have begun on the road to a healthier body. Removing the bad food options makes it more difficult for you to slip back into a diet that is unhealthy. If those foods are not available, you will not eat them.
Second, try browsing cookbooks and websites that offer nutritious meals. You will be surprised to find how many healthy versions of many well-loved recipes are available for download or are in cookbooks. Even favorites like meatloaf and beef Stroganoff can become healthful with small changes in their recipes. Make a list or cut out recipes that appeal to you or that you believe might be enjoyed by the family. Gather as many as you can so that you have plenty of options when you go to the grocery store. These recipes will be the basis for your meal planning, so make sure that they are somewhat simple to cook and use ingredients that you are comfortable with eating. It is fun to make odd dishes once in a while, but for a basic meal planner, you will need tried and true recipes.
Shop for the ingredients that you enjoy, but remember to double up on the fruit and vegetables. Almost any type of fruit can make a wonderful snack, especially for those in the family with a sweet-tooth. Fresh oranges and melons and apples are great snacks that keep well in the refrigerator. Vegetables like carrots and celery are perfect for a crunch snack and they also store well for up to a week in the fridge. The most important thing to remember about keeping fruit and vegetables for snacks is to make them simple to eat. If you take the time to cut vegetables into bite-sized servings, they are much more likely to be eaten. Fruits like grapes are best when removed from their vines and washed thoroughly. Put them into containers or baggies and you have snacks that are perfect for days when you are on the go.
Pick meats that are lean and contain little fat and you have great options for meals. Try to avoid the beef section of your grocery store and focus on poultry like chicken and turkey. Both chicken and turkey are lower in fat depending on how the meat is cooked. If you plan your meals in advance, you will know just how many of each item to purchase, so your budgeting will also be simple. Meal plans are perfect for the bargain shopper because they give you the time to select foods that are on sale and in season and you might possibly be able to clip coupons to add to your savings. Coupons for items like vegetables are difficult to find, so concentrate on the meat sales and you will save money on your weekly shopping budget.
Selecting a program or App to help with your meal planning is another excellent time-saver. People with careers and families tend to be the worst at eating healthy meals. Using your smart phone or computer to help you decide on nutritious dinners is the perfect way to incorporate a time-saver with a health-saver! Many Apps allow you to select certain foods and then offer meals that can be created with those foods. This type of planning helps when you are pressed for time, especially during weekday dinner creation. If you make lunches for your children to take with them to school, these programs can help with a large selection of healthful lunch options too.
A busy mother or father will definitely benefit from planning meals in advance. Coming home from work and scrambling to find the ingredients for a healthy dinner can cause frustration and stress to the entire family. Having the right ingredients on-hand for a nutritious meal is the perfect way to change your diet and the diet of your entire family. Meal planning is the perfect tool for busy families and you can even include the children in the planning stage. Many children enjoy being a part of the planning process and they might even try some new foods when they are able to help with the meals.
Eating healthy snacks, making dieting easy!
At Tavva Kitchen we’re passionate about providing the highest quality products with a focus on simple and easy solutions to create daily healthy eating habits.
We believe that the most important factor in achieving weight-loss success is to find a way to cope with your cravings. Our stainless steel storage containers with silicone lids make easy and fun to portion your healthy snacks for IIFYM, Paleo, Keto or any custom diet plan.
Enjoy your healthy food habits!
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