GRAND RAPIDS, Mich-- It's March! That means it is National Nutrition Month.
According to Priority Health, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has launched a campaign focused on the importance of making informed food choices as well as reducing waste. Meal prep is a critical step in setting you up for success as well as reducing food waste.
Rebbeca Mason, a Registered Dietician with Priority Health is offering up these four tips:
1. Check the pantry and refrigerator. Always plan to use what you already have before it spoils or goes stale. Start thinking about recipes and meals you could make to use these ingredients, starting with fresh foods first. Use what you have, and stop letting food go bad and therefore putting your hard earned cash in the trash.
2. Plan to make extras. Have you heard of the concept “plan over”? It’s a simple concept that when you plan to make extra, you’ll cook once and eat twice that week. For example, make a batch of Easy Crockpot Shredded Chicken. You can use it in chicken tacos on night one, and repurpose the leftover portions in chicken noodle soup, barbeque chicken sandwiches or chicken and broccoli Alfredo on night two. What a wonderful way to save time, use cost-effective ingredients and really maximize quality time at the table with your family.
3. Write your weekly menu down. First, take schedules into consideration when planning your meals and opt for quick and easy on busy days and more complex dishes on your light days. And remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy or complex to be considered healthy! Write the meals you want to serve and the groceries you will need for that meal on a single sheet of paper. Divide the ingredients for each meal by grocery store sections to make shopping more efficient. Having to backtrack and revisit sections of the store is frustrating, wastes time, and often leads to increased spending at the store.
4. Get ahead of the game. Invest a bit of your free time and set yourself up for success at mealtime. Numerous veggies can be washed, dried and chopped ahead of time and kept in airtight containers in the fridge for about a week, like broccoli, onions, bell peppers, celery, cabbage, carrots, butternut squash, and cauliflower.