October 22, 2015

“MOM, What’s for Dinner?”-3 Steps for Easy Meal Planning

General Health

sheperdI love food because, well, I am a dietitian and I think part of my job description says something like “Must love food.” On the other hand, I hate food because I struggle every day with what to make for dinner.

My husband seems to survive on meat and potatoes which doesn’t model well for our two-year-old who won’t eat vegetables. (The exception being peas, which he calls “tiny meatballs.”) Maybe it is BECAUSE I’m a dietitian, I feel my brain should just automatically create wonderful, healthy and tasty concoctions my family will love each day. But my brain doesn’t work that way.

If this sounds like you, too, fret not – I have a solution! Drum roll, please… Meal Planning! What a novel idea, eh? Here’s how I make it work for my family.

  1. Decide on five healthy meals we plan to eat throughout the week.
  2. Write down the ingredients needed for each recipe/meal so the grocery list is ready.
  3. Each day, my husband (since he’s the picky one) decides which of the five meals we will have for dinner that evening. This also helps because he feels like he’s having some say in the decision and therefore, he will usually eat it.

This works so well for us because the ingredients are all on hand so there are no “quick trips” to the store – which inevitably lead to unhealthy impulse purchases.

A couple of recommended websites where you can find nutritious recipes include CookingLight.com, EatingWell.com and CleanEating.com. In fact, Clean Eating Magazine occasionally provides “Five meals for under $50” and includes the grocery list so the work is done for you!

Overall, meal planning has helped me lean more toward loving food. Now my challenge for you: How can I get my two-year-old to eat something besides tiny meatballs?


For recipe ideas from Lisa, subscribe to Fort HealthCare’s Health 365 eNews. Each monthly email newsletter contains a different tried and approved recipe by Lisa, along with nutritional information.