Planning Ahead

You eat in a variety of places - your home, work, restaurants, maybe even your car. For some of these places, you have more control over what choices are available than others. Since high-calorie foods are everywhere, it's important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have healthy options available.

Plan a Healthy Meal

Healthy decisions start at home. Planning ahead can improve your health while saving you time and money. 

Eating nutritious meals in right-size portions will help you and your family be healthier and will give you the energy you need to get through the day. Preparing healthy meals doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive—it just takes planning.

Sit down and plan your healthy meals for the week, and then create a shopping list. Once you’ve planned your shopping list, be sure to stick to it! Shopping from a list instead of waiting to make choices at the grocery store saves you both time and money. Get ideas for healthy choices and make your next shopping trip easier by using the Let’s Move grocery list template to plan your next shopping trip.

Have a Healthy Breakfast

Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast every day. In addition to being a good way to start the day, a nutritious breakfast can help prevent overeating and snacking later in the day. 

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

  • Stir low-fat or fat-free granola into a bowl of low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Top with sliced apples or berries.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries or bananas to whole-grain waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal or toast.
  • Top toasted whole-grain bread with a thin layer of peanut butter and sliced bananas.
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes to an egg or egg white omelet.
  • Incorporate canned, dried and frozen fruits and vegetables into your breakfast menu. Look for fruit without added sugar or syrups, and vegetables without added salt, butter or cream sauce.

Cut Back on Sugary Drinks

Reducing your sugar intake is as easy as making different choices about what you drink. Sugar-sweetened beverages are sources of liquid sugar that don’t fill us up. By drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar, you will be one sip closer to better health.

Keep an Eye on Portion Sizes

The more you know about serving sizes, the more you will be able to help yourself and your family eat a healthy amount of food. Start off serving a small portion. For example, provide portions equal to the size of the back of a fist.  Serving sizes are also important to consider for beverages-a serving size for sports drinks, fruit drinks, and smoothies should fit in a small coffee cup.

Even very busy people have time to eat healthy, it just takes a little extra strategising.  Making the extra effort to plan ahead, can save you time, money and pounds. Practice helps too. As you gain more experience in planning ahead, you may find that it takes you less time and saves you even more. 

Happy Planning!