4 Tips for Creating a Family Meal Plan
As the lazy days of summer begin to draw to a close, it’s time to think about heading back to school. What a perfect time to plan family meals together! Having a family meal plan saves time and money, but building a healthy family meal plan encourages regular meals together.
If you have never sat down and written out a family meal plan, then we have one for you. Just scroll down and click the link for the August Family Meal Plan below. But if you want to start sitting down and eating healthy meals together as a family, then here are a few tips to get you started.
- Gather all family members, and make a list of favorite meals. Parents may have to provide ideas for children. Think about what types of foods everyone likes from categories like Proteins, Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, and Dairy. Jot all those ideas down.
- You may find a lot of unhealthy food choices. Talk about ways to make a seemingly unhealthy meal like pizza healthy by finding recipes for whole wheat pizza dough or cauliflower crust. BONUS: Copy or print out favorite recipes, and put them in a binder for easy access.
- Look at what’s in your pantry, freezer, and fridge. If you see a lot of processed foods, you might want to do a junk food overhaul, and get it all out of the house. Then, refill with fresh veggies and fruits; lean meats like chicken, fish, and turkey; whole grain breads and pastas; and beans and nuts.
- Make balanced meals your goal. Try to include one from each of the food groups: Dairy, Vegetables, Fruits, Proteins, and Grains. For example, if you’re serving spaghetti, use whole wheat pasta (Grains), ground turkey (Protein), spaghetti sauce and green beans or a salad (Vegetables), with a sprinkling of low-fat mozzarella or a glass of skim milk (Dairy), and a side of pineapple (Fruits).
This month spend some time as a family creating a healthy family meal plan. When the busyness of a new school year and the not-so-distant holidays hit, you will be glad you did! In the meantime, here is an August Meal Plan to get you started.
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