A Guide for Planning Healthy Meals

All Ages

Do you want to prepare healthy meals for your family, but get overwhelmed by a busy schedule? Use our tips to make shopping for and cooking nutritious meals easier. No matter how hectic your week, we've got you covered with this healthy grocery list and these super-simple tips to create healthy meals. 

Write a menu

Map out your healthy meals for the week. Deciding ahead of time what you'll have for breakfast, lunch and dinner takes the pressure off during a busy week and makes you less likely to choose unhealthy takeout at the last minute. 

Take inventory

To save time and money at the grocery store, check your pantry and fridge to see what ingredients you already have. Already have canned black beans? Pick up whole wheat tortillas, salsa, veggies and cheese for a healthy taco night. 

Make a list

A grocery list saves you time and money, and helps you avoid buying on impulse. After checking the ingredients you already have at home, make a list of items you'll need to fix complete meals all through the week. 

Shop with a plan

Go to the grocery store with your list and stick to it. Head straight for those items, and don’t get overwhelmed by walking down aisles that don’t have anything on your list. Check out our tips for navigating the grocery store.

Food prep

After grocery shopping, wash, peel and chop your fruits and veggies for the week as soon as you can. You'll set yourself up for success if you prepare for the entire week.

Pick your fruit or vegetable first

The most important part of your meal shouldn't be an afterthought. Decide which fruit or veggie to serve with a meal, then choose your protein (such as turkey, chicken or fish) and grain (such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread).

Add more color

Make your child’s plate fun and inviting with colorful foods. Eat from the rainbow! Think brown rice, green broccoli, orange carrots, and/or red strawberries, and round it out with a healthy piece of protein, such as a chicken breast.