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Mass in Motion Posted by:
Meghan Mueller, Department of Public Health


Meghan is the State Breastfeeding Coordinator for DPH.


After recently getting married and graduating from grad school in addition to my full time job, I know how difficult it can be to get a healthy dinner on the table – seven nights a week! If I don’t have a plan, when dinnertime comes, take-out looks very appealing! But having take-out every night isn’t good for my waistline OR my wallet. Here are a few planning tips so that dinner won’t catch you by surprise every night. As a bonus, you might enjoy dinnertime for a change!

I like to think about the week ahead during the weekend when I have a little more down-time. Try writing up a list of go-to meals that are quick and easily prepared with staples (such as pasta or frozen vegetables) for Monday- Friday’s meals. Once you have that list, tape it up somewhere handy, so that you know where to find it when you need it! I usually include some of our favorites that I know are quick and easy to make. If you are looking for more recipe ideas, check your grocery store’s weekly circular to see what’s on sale!

Now it’s time to make your grocery list and do your shopping. Carefully go through the list of dinners and make sure you have all of the items you need (including any spices and go-to items like pasta, frozen vegetables and canned beans). You may want to think about the week’s lunches and snacks too.

Other ideas to make the week go smoothly:

• Make an extra dinner serving, and pack it for lunch the next day.

• Some foods can do double duty – roasted turkey or chicken can quickly become sandwiches, soups, or casseroles later in the week.

• Buy only as much produce as you can reasonably eat that week to reduce wasted food and money. Boost your fruit and veggie intake with frozen produce later in the week if you run out of fresh.

• Make your own frozen dinners (such as lasagna, soups and stews). Store them in individual containers so they are ready to go when you are!

Planning ahead saves time, money, extra inches from your waistline and your sanity! What are some tricks that you use to plan for the week ahead? We’d love to hear your tips!

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