Healthy Meal Planning

Goal: Sit down for 30 minutes this week and plan healthy meals and snacks.

Just as you would plan for a fun vacation, take some time this week to plan your meals. The USDA has a free meal-planning table to help you get started at


  1. To help you and your family be healthier:  When you plan meals, you can make sure to include enough foods from each food group. Pay special attention to serving enough vegetables and fruits in family meals.
  2. To help you balance meals:  When you are serving a food with a lot of fat or salt, you can plan low-fat or low-salt foods to go with it. For example, ham is high in salt. If you have ham for dinner, you also can serve a salad or a vegetable that doesn’t need salt.
  3. To save money:  If you plan before you go food shopping, you will know what you have on hand and what you need. Also, shopping from a list helps you avoid expensive “impulse” purchases.
  4. To save time and effort:  When you plan meals, you have foods on hand and make fewer trips to the grocery store. Planning also helps you make good use of leftovers. This can cut your cooking time and food costs.

About the Author Carol Frazey

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