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Prepare Healthy Meals

Prepare Healthy Meals

Use these tips to save time when cooking at home. Visit MyPlate Kitchen to discover delicious and budget-friendly recipes your family will love.

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Kitchen Timesavers

Try these kitchen timesavers to cut back on time and make less work for you. By taking the stress and hassle out of cooking, you’ll have more time to enjoy it and to spend with your loved ones.

Organize your kitchen.

Keep frequently used items such as cooking oils/sprays, spatulas, cutting boards, and spices within easy reach. This will save you from having to search for them later.

Clear the clutter.

Before you start cooking, clear off your counters. This allows more room for prep space.

Chop extra.

When chopping up veggies for a meal, chop more than you need. Take the extra, place in a reusable container and freeze. Then next time you need it, you can skip a step.

Have everything in place.

Grab all ingredients needed for your meal – chopped vegetables, measured spices, and thawed meats. It will be easier to spot missing items and avoid skipping steps.

Double your recipe.

For your next casserole or stew, try doubling the recipe and freezing the extra. You’ll save time and make cooking next week’s dinner a snap!

Clean as you go.

Fill up the sink with soapy water and wash the dishes as you cook. It’ll make clean up go much smoother!

Save some for later.

Freeze leftover soups, sauces, or gravies in small reusable containers. 

Cooking for Your Family

You can easily prepare foods for a large family without spending a lot of money. Try these tips to save time, money, and stress when making meals for your friends or family.

Keep it simple.

Healthy and creative meals don't have to be complicated. A simpler menu will usually cost less money and will be easier to prepare in the end.

Allow your family to help.

Divide jobs among family members. Remember -- kids love to be in the kitchen! With help, you can get more done and have more time to enjoy with your family. 

Stretch recipes by adding ingredients.

Get more servings out of your favorite recipes! Add rice to soups or stews, frozen vegetables to favorite pasta dishes, or beans to burgers to serve more meals.

Options for the holidays.

Try having a holiday brunch. Breakfast foods like eggs are inexpensive and make a great protein for the main dish. Or, try a yogurt parfait bar, where everyone can add their favorite toppings.

Make it a potluck.

Potlucks are a great option for large families. If you are hosting, prepare the main dish and leave the sides to the rest of the family. It creates less work for you and allows everyone to make and sample each other’s creations.

Need help making ends meet?

Discover more about nutrition assistance including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or Child Nutrition Programs.

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Start Simple with MyPlate App

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025