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If youa€™re concerned about heart health and eating for a better heart, try one of our quick and easy heart-healthy recipes for dinner.
I’ve been a big fan of Kelly Smith since I tried her raw cookie dough bites nearly a year ago. Summer is quickly coming to an end, and that means it’s time to get organized for the back-to-school season, as well as all of the activities that come along with it. Of course, you wouldn’t be here reading this post if planning healthy meals (especially wholesome school lunches) wasn’t part of your back-to-school agenda! The fact is, meal planning is a wonderful strategy to help families enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals with the awesome added benefits of saving time, money, and stress! So, by learning how to create a weekly meal plan, you’ll not only ensure that your family eats healthier and saves money, but it will also save you time and stress as well. Shown above is what’s on the menu at The Nourishing Home for our first week back-to-school.
So without further ado, here are the top five tips I share at each of my meal planning seminars.
The first step in meal planning is to make a Master List of Meals, which is simply a list of all the meals that you make.
As you start trying new recipes, remember to add the ones your family likes to your Master List of Meals. Before you start selecting meals for the week ahead, first take a look at what’s happening each day, and plan your meals accordingly. For extra-busy days, schedule a “leftovers night,” where you can simply warm up a meal from a previous evening.
First, check your pantry and frig to see what you already have on hand, and be sure to plan for meals that utilize these ingredients.
Even planning a few meals a week, or planning meals for just the busiest days of the week, will go a long way in helping you stay on track with your healthy-eating goals and budget, as well as save you time and stress! Make your meal plan for the week, and then go through each meal and list out all the ingredients needed to create that meal.
Keep a pad of paper on your kitchen counter, and jot down items as you run out of them so they can quickly and easily be added to The List. Just an hour or two over the weekend can go a long way in making things quicker and easier for you during the week ahead!
Meats: Cut and divide meat into portions based on your meal plan, and freeze (you can even place the meat into a marinade and freeze). Brown extra ground turkey, chicken, or beef, to use in another dish, such as tacos, later in the week. Cook extra chicken breasts, and then cut some up for another meal such as stir-fry or pasta dishes. Cook extra rice, put it into a container, and refrigerate or freeze for use as a quick side dish with a future meal. For more healthy meal planning strategies, as well as free weekly whole food meal plans, visit The Nourishing Home. Kelly Smith loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for real food cooking and meal planning with others.
Filed Under: Making Changes, MOM tips, MOMables · Tagged With: mealplanning, MOMables · Post Copyright Property of MOMables Recipe by MOMables uploaded by MOMablesSubscribe now! This is a terrific idea, fits for me because I always have a hard time on preparing meals for my kids. I love these tips, personally its a nightmare when the kids go back to school so meal planning and using these tips have helped me so much. E-Mails once a weekSample meal plan, free recipes, and all the tips you need to make school lunches and meals easier.We respect your privacy. You don’t have to get the balance right at every meal, but try to get it right over a whole day or the week.
Check out your local community or leisure centre for winter classes and activities such as aerobics, badminton, table tennis, basketball, dancing, martial arts, cub scouts or youth clubs.
Be a role model for your children - if they see you being active and enjoying it they will be more likely to model your behaviour. Teach your children how to play traditional games, such as hide and seek, tip the can, red rover, tag and hopscotch. Ask your child about what activities and games they enjoy in school, PE, or in the playground - and maybe you can try them at home. Variety is the name of the game with healthy eating and it's great fun trying out new foods together. Serve party food in interesting ways such as pineapple shells filled with fruit and sandwiches cut into different shapes. Learn to read food labels, and take advantage of information that will help you make healthy shopping choices. Add less meat and more vegetables to curries, stews, and casseroles to make these favourites even more nutritious. Marinate fresh lean meats like lean beef, lamb or chicken using your own home-made marinades rather than ready-made sauces.

Adding butter, margarine or dairy spread to our bread is something we tend to do automatically. Cut up a few pieces of fresh fruit and take them to work in a plastic container or freezer-bag.
Choosing wholegrains and fruit means that you'll get the fibre you need for a healthy digestive system.
We're often starving after school or work, and it's so easy to pick up some crisps or chocolate. Wholemeal scone pieces topped lightly with spread makes a great simple snack for the whole family.
Limit unhealthy treats to a few times each week and make sure you give them after meals rather than on their own between meals. For the whole family, why not try a mug of cold or warm milk after school or other snack times. Make healthy yoghurt-based dips, for example yoghurt and mango or yoghurt and mint, and serve with a variety of vegetables, carrot and cucumber slices are perfect and plain breadsticks. Most people go into munching autopilot when they're distracted by the TV and don't realise when they're full. Instead of buying a set for each member of the family - find programmes that the whole family likes to watch.
Your children will do as you do, so take stock of your own viewing habits and, if you need to, cut down on your own screen time too. TV viewing and computer games can be addictive, so limit your children's screen time to 2 hours a day. Turn off the TV during mealtimes - better still, don't have a TV in the kitchen or dining area. These healthy dinner recipes can help you lower your risk of heart disease, as they are limited in saturated fat and rich in foods containing fiber and antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts.
So that’s where MOMables and I come in: We want to show you how easy and beneficial it is to incorporate meal planning into your weekly routine. Meals prepared at home generally contain a greater variety of nutrient-rich foods compared with those found at typical restaurants.
That’s because once you make your meal plan and purchase the ingredients needed for each of the meals outlined, you can then go on auto-pilot. Simply execute the meal plan day-by-day without having to stress over what’s for dinner and without having to make multiple trips to the market.
You can find each of the recipes listed (as well as my free meal planning template) by visiting Healthy Back-to-School Menu.
You can also find this information in more detail, as well as my popular “Cook Once, East Twice or More” tips, over at Mastering Meal Planning.
Taking time to really think through this first step will save you a ton of time in the long run; no more racking your brain to try to think of what you should make for the week. Use ground meat to mix and form into meatballs and burgers that can be frozen for later use. For example, I find it super-helpful to pre-chop, rinse, and store lettuce for salads for the week ahead. Grate cheese, make salad dressings or sauces, etc., and store them in the fridge or freezer. When making out your meal plan, consider which dinners lend themselves to also being a great lunch. Children need a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats for sustained energy and optimal learning. She is the author and creator of The Nourishing Home—a blog dedicated to sharing delicious whole food recipes, cooking tips and techniques, and overall encouragement to help others in their quest to live a more nourished life. Your information will not be shared with any third party and you can unsubscribe at any timeWant MORE Ideas Like this one? Encourage your kids to help with jobs around the house, such as washing the floor or hoovering.
If your children have a competitive streak, have a race to see who can get finished their jobs first.
You might not be setting Olympic records but it will still help you and your children towards your daily amount. Ask about walking school bus initiatives as part of their Transport plan and cycling programmes. You can rustle up a healthy meal in minutes with tinned fish and tomatoes, pasta and dried herbs. You're more likely to rush things, make poor choices and go for a quick sugar fix by picking up an unhealthy snack. The more new foods that children are introduced to the more likely they are to have a varied diet. They're really important for growing bones, and are a great way to boost your children's energy levels throughout the day.
Other rewards could include an outing to the park or swimming pool or just some time playing with you. You'll find it easier to take control and monitor how much time your family is spending in front of the TV.

Children with screens in their rooms get less exercise, interact less with their families, have poorer diets and get less sleep. Sunshine provides vitamins they need to grow healthily, and playing outside keeps them active. Kelly is a master meal planner, and today she shows us how to incorporate some of our recipes into a weekly plan. Yet, with this same amount of money, you can actually feed your family three highly nutritious whole food meals, plus healthy snacks!
Instead, start with planning just a few meals each week, or planning meals only on the busiest days of the week.
I also like to precook and freeze ground meat for use in meals such as tacos, chili, soups, etc. And rather than just serving the same thing for lunch, think of ways to repurpose your leftovers, such as turning leftover grilled chicken breasts into Greek salad wraps. Foods such as whole grains, brown rice, fruits, and veggies provide a good source of healthy carbohydrates, while Greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, meats, and beans provide much-needed protein. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone; there are lots of helpful resources out there for breaking free from the same-old, same-old lunches.
You'll cut down on the fat content of the meal while getting in some of your 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables.
If you're adding mayonnaise, relish or other sauces to a sandwich, then you probably don't. Dairy foods aren't just for children - make sure you're getting about three portions each day too.
You can also chop fruit and vegetables into pieces and store in a plastic bag or container to have on the go. Or cancelling the cable or satellite subscription and putting the money towards a special holiday instead? Peters had been working out for years, but knew that he had to change his diet if he really wanted to see results.About a year and a half ago, he switched his eating habits and began posting photos of a week’s worth of lunches and dinners (two recipes cooked in 5 portions each) to his Instagram account. And once you see how easy and beneficial meal planning truly is, you’ll most certainly be inspired to add even more meals to your weekly meal plan! And, the healthy fats found in nuts, meats, avocados, and whole-milk dairy products help satisfy and maintain stamina.
Take a few minutes each week to go online with your kids and seek out some new ideas to make lunch not only healthy, but fun! And congrats on being a MOMables subscriber – Laura provides a wealth of recipes and ideas that I know will really be a blessing to you as well.
Avoid tooth decay by drinking juice with meals and for young children ideally dilute one part juice to 10 parts water.
His tasty, affordable recipes began receiving attention from others trying to eat healthy, so he launched his website and a new Instagram account dedicated to meal prep last month. That’s why providing children a balance and variety of these foods will help ensure that they’re well-nourished and energized to learn. We tapped Peters for his top tips on getting started with meal prepping and batch cooking, plus the 4 recipes you'll need to create a week of (delicious!) dinners. Posted in Diet, Meal PlansIt is the third full week of January, so you should have 3 meal plans under your belt by now. How are you doing with spending one hour every Saturday making a meal plan?viaHave you noticed that one hour of planning a week can save you about ten headaches during the week?!
Peters suggests starting with a few days' worth of meals at a time, then slowly building up to making a whole week of meals in one session.
Planning ahead also helps to make meal prep a sustainable healthy habit.Break It UpTo stave off boredom, freeze one or two meals each time you make a new recipe so you can swap in something different throughout the week.
You can also add different sauces to a meal to change the flavor, or plan to eat out one night that week to give your taste buds a refresh.Enlist a BuddyGrab a friend or spouse to cook with you.
Not only will the process go faster, but you’ll be more likely to go outside your comfort zone with recipes, since you’ll have two palettes to please. You might even think of a new meal idea together and can brainstorm ways to create a healthier version of a favorite dish. Try these 13 Never-Fail Flavor Combinations.)Peters shared the recipes to create one of his most popular (and freezer-friendly!) meals, a Southwestern-style feast. Everyone has barriers, but I encourage you to find something that will motivate you to get you over that barrier. True to his food philosophy, this healthy meal contains protein, a complex carb, and a vegetable—and it’s packed with flavor.

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