The key message for Week Two of National Nutrition Month* is near and dear to our hearts: Plan your meals each week!
We’re so pleased that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has chosen this message and recognizes the importance of meal planning in the overall quest towards healthy eating. And wow, we couldn’t have said it better! Our members know that having a plan each week makes things SO much easier.
Planning your meals eliminates the nightly angst of “what am I going to make for dinner tonight”, helps to avoid falling back on less healthy food choices or take out, lets you feel in control and good about your meal choices, and can help you save money.
Why Plan Your Meals?
The key thing to remember is that the time you spend planning saves you hours and hours later in the week. Yes, it sounds like effort, but its effort that pays back in multiple ways, and once you get in the habit, it comes easier and easier each week.
As you get better at planning, you can start to weave in the weekly sales at your store to save even more money.
Use a Shopping List:
One of the secondary messages for week two of National Nutrition Month is: Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods.
A grocery list is a natural by-product of meal planning and is so helpful because you know what to get for the meals you’ve planned (as opposed to buying stuff and figuring out what to make with it later – only to find out you’re missing an ingredient!)
The grocery list also helps you avoid those impulse buys, and be less reliant on the more expensive, and less healthy pre-made meals. (And of course Dinner Daily members receive a ready-to-go grocery list with their weekly plan)
What If You Don’t Have the Time?
We get it – the idea of adding another weekly task to your already overloaded schedule may be too much to even contemplate. Don’t worry – there are tools out there for you! We create personalized meal plans and grocery lists for about $1 a week, but there are many other resources out there. Just google Meal planning and you’ll be amazed by all of the choices. You can try The Dinner Daily for free for two weeks to give you a sense of what its like to have a plan with recipes developed under the guidance of dietitians.
In addition to our service which provides personalized weekly meal plans based on each member’s food preferences and the sales at many grocery stores, we also have published a Meal Planner’s Guide to help make do-it-yourself meal planning easier.
Give Planning Your Meals a Go!
We know change is hard, but this is one change we think you will love when you give it a try. Either plan your own meals or subscribe to a service to provide you with a plan – either way, you’ll eat more healthy foods, have less stress meal prep and feel so much better about your meals in general.
*National Nutrition Month is an annual promotion by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help spread awareness and tips for making good food choices and developing healthy eating habits