This blog was written by Samantha Whiteside. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Find it nearly impossible to eat a well-balanced breakfast, prepare nutritious dinners, or snack on nutrient-rich foods? You are not alone! Follow these simple tips on how to plan healthy meals and start eating smart.
Step One: Moderation
Don’t attempt to make too many changes at once. Start with switching to whole-grain breads and sides. Then bring in more vegetables and fruit. Next, focus on lean protein. Then switch to low-fat dairy. Focusing on one thing at a time will ensure that this will be a lifestyle change and not just a fad diet.
Step Two: Research
Use the Internet as a tool to find quick and healthy recipes, foods that are low in calories and full of fiber, and alternatives to typical cookout or holiday dishes.
Step Three: Be Prepared
Plan out your meals a week ahead. Take one day a week to write down what all meals will be and stick to it as best you can. Secondly, cut up all fresh vegetables and put them into clear containers as soon as you bring them home. This will make salads and all other meals much faster to assemble. Additionally, always keep canned vegetables such as mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, and beets on hand for casseroles, soups, and homemade sauces.
Step Four: Choose Color and Variety
Ensure that each meal contains at least two different colors of fruits and vegetables. Different colors provide different nutrients and ensure a well-balanced diet. Additionally, try new things. Introduce a new fruit or vegetable or alternative protein every few weeks. Not only does this keep things interesting, but it expands your knowledge of nutrition and aids in a more nutritious food intake.
Sound reasonable? By doing a little research and prep work, adding in variety, and keeping things in moderation, you will achieve healthy meals on a daily basis and have plenty of time to spare.