Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner and Beyond with My Meal Planning Tips!

May 1, 2017

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How to create a more balanced diet and healthier lifestyle by enjoying your food with health in mind

I have partnered with Dannon Light & Fit to help promote how to include Dannon Light & Fit yogurt as part of your weekly menu. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

As part of my ongoing Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner initiative,  I’m branching out beyond dinner and delving into breakfast, lunch and snack time! I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy figuring out how to do “more” with dinner for my family so we can be healthier and happier by incorporating more fun and better nutrition while spending less time in the kitchen. I mean, when your kids have baseball, soccer, piano and other activities, not to mention my own dance classes and my husband’s paddle tennis league – you need to find ways to fit healthy eating into a busy lifestyle!

How to Get Started

Every week I sit down and plan out our weekly menu. I start by “shopping my kitchen” first to see what foods we have on hand such as fresh foods that need to be eaten before they go bad and pantry items that could be used for quick and healthy meals. Then I look at our schedule for the week and determine which nights I have time to cook and which nights would be better for leftovers or take-out. I search through my recipe binder for some tried and true family favorites, or if I’m feeling adventurous and have some extra time, I select a new recipe to try. Finally, I prepare my grocery list for items I need to pick up to make the week’s menu complete.

Here’s a peak at my weekly meal planning sheet.

Building a Better Breakfast

If you follow my Sound Bites Podcast you know that I struggle with a healthy breakfast. My kids do a great job with breakfast, but I don’t seem to have the time or appetite to eat something nutritious. So I’ve decided to join my son while he’s eating and we are getting ready for the day. A quick and easy choice that’s light enough and that I can feel good about is yogurt topped with fruit and/or nuts. Lunchtime is easy – I make a quick salad or have some leftovers. When it comes to snacks and dessert, the kids want them every day! So I need to have healthy options on hand. Yogurt is definitely at the top of the list – my son always says YES to yogurt and likes to mix in different ingredients such as fruit, pudding or sprinkles. If I feel like desserts have been getting out of hand, I offer yogurt and everyone is happy.

My son took this picture of me enjoying my breakfast….Maybe I’ll actually sit down next time!

Eating one yogurt every day is an important first step toward creating a more balanced diet and a healthier… Click to Tweet

Do What Fits You

Dannon’s “Do What Fits You” philosophy fits perfectly with my Guilt-Free RD® approach: healthy habits are more sustainable when you enjoy them! Light & Fit offers a delicious variety of products to fit any eating occasion! Light & Fit Nonfat Yogurt contains 70 calories and 5 grams of protein per 5.3 oz. (and 110 calories and 7 grams of protein per 8 oz.).

I hope these meal planning tips help YOU do more with dinner and beyond! I encourage you to follow me on social media for more tips and resources, and follow Light and Fit on Instagram, too!

 

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ABOUTI’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”;. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind.  I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians.  My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.

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