Healthy Meal Planning – Guidelines To Follow

These days when junk foods, processed foods and other unhealthy edible treats are very common in the market, it is of importance that you know how you can plan your meals. Planning meals will help you eat healthily.

Healthy meal planning is something that many people may find challenging, yet with the help of some pointers, you can certainly ease this difficulty and make sure that everything you and your family eat is delicious and nourishing.

• Develop a cycle menu for about 4-6 weeks. This will help provide variety to your meals.

• Your menu cycle must include balance; Balance in flavors such as sweet, sour, savory, tart and lightly spicy. This balance will help awaken and stimulate the taste buds. Balance also refers to the contained nutrients in each meal. Meals that you will prepare and serve to your family must provide them with nutrients. Meals should have protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nourishing components found in a variety of foods.

• Your meals must be emphasized with variety. Change the types of menus that you prepare and serve every day. Every now and then, you may try to cook foods that are unfamiliar to you.

• Contrast is also another important aspect of meal planning. Food texture and appearance of foods must be considered. Textures of food include smoothness, crispness and fluffiness. You should avoid using excessive amount of the same kind of foods in just one meal. Make your dish striking by using different shapes and sizes of ingredients.

• Color also makes the meals and foods appealing to the eyes. When your dish has only one color, you tend to have less desire to eat it; but if the food has various colors in it, your mind thinks that it is delicious even if you have not tasted it yet. Vegetables and fruits add the natural colors you need in your meals.

• In planning meals, there are several things that contribute to your challenges like calorie counts. To be successful in healthy meal planning, you can avoid all these difficulties by making everything simple. Meal planning does not have to include too extravagant or elaborate meals every day. You just have to stick to foods that you love and enjoy. There are also easy recipes that you can find online which incorporate ingredients that are new to you.

• In making changes to your diet, you should not do it all at once. Make changes gradually and slowly. It would not be realistic to make your entire meals on the completely healthy side in just one night.

• There are certain foods that you know are not that healthy enough, but you should not consider these foods are wholly prohibited. You may still include them in your meals, but what’s important is you consume them moderately.

• Remember that you may plan the healthiest meal of all, yet if your attitude in eating will not be healthy, then your efforts may all be for nothing. Eat your planned meals with the family and enjoy them together. Always eat breakfast to jumpstart the metabolism.

Cooking Healthy Meals – Make A Weekly Meal Plan For Cooking Healthy Meals

I have really grown to enjoy cooking and I do my best at cooking healthy meals for my family. One thing I have found to help me do this is to make a weekly meal plan. It keeps us from eating out too much (which also saves money) and helps with our waist lines too.

So at the beginning of a new week this is what I do. I sit down and make a shopping list for each meal I want to prepare for the week. Once you have everything you need for cooking a healthy meal it makes it hard to back out of making it.

Our breakfast I like to keep simple since we have a hard time getting going in the morning. I like to stick to eggs, turkey bacon or sausage, some veggies to mix in with the eggs, original plain oatmeal (for our toddler) and milk. Some things that I consider basics.

For lunch I like to keep things on hand for sandwiches; lunch meat, cheese, peanut butter and jelly (for the little one). Usually what happens though is we end up with leftovers from dinner so I don’t have to pick up too many extras for our lunches.

Now with dinner I like to mix things up a bit to make them a little more interesting and flavorful. I can’t say that I’m the most creative person when it comes to cooking healthy meals for dinner. I grew up eating a diet of meat, rice and vegetables. So I don’t always know exactly what I want to prepare each week.

What I do though is pull out my collection of recipes from magazines and cookbooks to get some ideas. Yes I use them every week and if you choose the right ones I have found many gear towards cooking healthy meals.

Personally I like to choose any where from three to five meals that I want to prepare. After I know what they are I write down the ingredients that I don’t have on hand and add them to the list. Having a list to follow keeps me from forgetting what it is I need to buy and prevents me from grabbing a bunch of things that we don’t need.

We still choose eat out once a week because we like to have that break from the kitchen and it is also a treat to eat something that I normally would not prepare at home. We also enjoy entertaining or dining with our friends and family on the weekends. This doesn’t stop me from cooking the healthy meals I’ve planned; I just share them.