Do you “Meal Prep”?

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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”~ Ben Franklin

ITC challenges you to take time to sit down with family members and plan out a week’s worth of meals and snacks. Set some parameters for healthy options, look for healthy recipes, make a grocery list, do the shopping, and prepare ahead as much as possible for the busy work week. Here are some tips to help in your planning:

  • Set parameters for healthy options-incorporate protein and produce into your meals and snacks. Limit pre-packaged items. If you add pre-packaged items, look for options that are low in sodium, under 12 grams of sugar and have at least 10 grams of protein in them.

  • Research healthy recipes online. Try www.sparkrecipes.com, www.skinnymom.com (join her supper club, it’s free and delicious), myfitnesspal has a great blog with healthy recipes as well.

  • Have a quick “go-to” meal option like eggs and toast, or pre-plan a healthy option at a local restaurant like Jason’s Deli’s Salad Bar or Subway.

  • Do the shopping-stick to the perimeter of the grocery store, this is where the fresh, whole foods are most abundant. Delegate this job to a driver in the household if needed. Be clear to the person doing the shopping about the details of the list. “Whole Grain White or Wheat Bread? 45 calorie bread?” “Bringing home ice cream or other treats is not acceptable this week. This week we are having berries and Greek Yogurt for dessert.”

  • Snack Ideas: fruit with a 100 calorie pack of nuts, or a dairy product like a low fat cheese stick or low fat cottage cheese. Greek Yogurt with nuts and or berries, veggies dipped in hummus, Kind Bar or Advobar.

  • Prepare ahead as much as possible-chop up celery, onions and carrots for salads and other dishes. Make a casserole or crock pot recipe. While your chopping up veggies for one dish, look for creative ways to add them to others. For example, if you’re making stuffed pepper casserole, pick up an extra onion and pepper and chop it up to add to your salads this week. Here are a few recipe links for inspiration:

http://www.skinnymom.com/skinny-stuffed-pepper-casserole/

http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/broccoli-potato-frittata/

 

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