Meal Planning Made Simple

Meal Planning Made Simple

By Brooke Schoonenberg, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT

As a dietitian, one of the top questions I get asked is, “How do I meal plan?”

There’s no right or wrong way, just the way that works best for you. My personal approach for my family of three (me, my husband, and my one-year-old son) revolves around the concept of cooking 3-4 times each week with room for leftovers and 1-2 nights of dining out or a 10 minute meal.

Because my son is the pickiest eater, I always include things he likes to eat, like whole wheat pasta, beans and asparagus. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I love themes, and it makes eating the same foods less boring. For example, we’ll do a Mexican theme where we will have grilled chicken with salsa, black beans, peppers and onions, and guacamole. I can take that same basic grilled chicken and add it to a “stretch meal” like chicken and asparagus pesto pasta salad so I know I’ll have leftovers.

But this is just me! Some people plan their meals around what’s on sale. Some plan based on what’s in season. It doesn’t matter as long as you plan! Planning is one of the keys to success when trying to be healthy and raise a healthy eater. Finding balance is key, and our Balance program can help you learn to meal plan, provide ideas, and keep you accountable. You can also join us for our Meal Planning Made Simple: Simply Slow Cooking class where the instructor will guide you through the meal planning process using sample recipes that you get to take home!