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Meal Planning

Meal Planning

Planning meals ahead of time can help you stick to healthy choices. Use these tips to create a plan that works for you.


See what you have

Plan meals that use foods you already have. Look in your freezer, cabinets, and refrigerator, and be sure to check expiration dates.

Map out your meals

Write out the meals you plan to eat for the week and use it as a guide. Be sure to list beverages and snacks, too.

Think about your schedule

Prepare meals and sides – including whole grains, vegetables, and beans – on the weekends when you may have more time. This will help during busy weekdays.

Make a grocery list

Start by listing ingredients for the meals you plan to make and the cross off items you already have. Buying for the week can help you make fewer shopping trips.

Love your leftovers

Prepare enough of a dish to eat multiple times during the week or freeze some to enjoy later. Making leftovers part of your plan can save you time and money.

Find balance

Plan your meals so you eat from all five food groups every day. When planning, be aware of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium by reading the Nutrition Facts label.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the
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