Healthy Meal Planning Tips For The Entire Family

By Fred Jacob
Updated November 26, 2014
Read our Disclaimer

Healthy Meal Planning Tips For The Entire FamilyPlanning and preparing healthy meals for your family ensures that they get all the nutrients that they need. Making meals at home lets you control the portion size, and makes sure that your family is not consuming empty calories. Family meals are an opportunity for conversation and bonding, and meals that you make yourself are also usually less expensive. Here are some healthy meal planning tips for the entire family.

1.) Never Ever Skip Breakfast

You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research has shown this is even more important for children. Kids who eat a good breakfast are less likely to fill up on unhealthy snacks at school. A proper breakfast also provides them with consistent energy, and helps keep them alert during the day.

2.) Planning A Healthy Breakfast

For an ideal breakfast, you want to include plenty of whole grains and fiber, along with some type of protein. Options for protein include eggs, beans, meat, yogurt or cottage cheese. For grains and fiber, you can have bagels, toast, oatmeal or cereal. Breakfast is also a good time to include a serving of fruit, like putting some berries on cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal.

3.) Make Lunches Healthy And Fun

When food is fun, kids are more likely to eat it, so if you can incorporate both healthy ingredients and fun, you have a winning combination. One trick is to give children something they can put together themselves, rolling, stacking or dipping their food. Another thing kids love is miniature food, like mini-bagels or cookies. Interesting colorful combinations also get their attention, like making fruit kebabs. Get kids involved in planning and preparing their own lunches, and they will be more likely to enjoy eating them.

4.) Plan A Healthy Homemade Dinner

Families that eat dinner at home together generally have better nutrition than those that don't, and they also gain other benefits. Kids who eat with their families tend to be healthier, since homemade meals normally include less fat and sugar, and more fruits and vegetables. Spending time in conversation around the dinner table also helps to bring families closer together.

5.) Get The Family Involved In Planning Dinners

Give each family member a chance to choose the dinner menu. You can set some parameters, like ensuring that they choose a vegetable to go with each dinner. This gives everyone a feeling of control, and makes them look forward to dinners at home. You can also get kids involved in preparing the meal or setting the table. This gives them a sense of responsibility, and makes it a shared activity.

6.) Advanced Planning Can Save Time And Money

Planning the menu for all of your weekly meals at once can be a challenge, especially when you first start doing this, but it really is a time saver overall. You only need to do grocery shopping once a week, which saves not just time, but also gas. If planning a full week is too difficult, try planning just a few days at a time to start. Once you have done this a few times, it is easier to expand from there.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.