Top Tips for Healthier Eating

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3. Plan your menu for the week on Saturday.

Menu planning makes life easier on several levels. If you shop with a planned menu, you will be less likely to buy unnecessary food that can spoil, which will save you money. Shopping with a specific list also saves time and can deter you from adding unhealthy snacks to your cart. Knowing what is for dinner every night can make preparation easier, since you may be able to prepare some of the meal earlier in the day (or week) rather than hastily putting it together right before dinner.

Planning menus can also help you add variety to your diet and get out of ruts in your eating habits. For example, you can plan for a different vegetable each day and alternate lean meats, chicken, fish, beans and tofu for your protein. If you have a family, ask them to participate in menu planning. They might have new ideas or remember a favorite dish that you have long forgotten. Planning meals will help ensure that you do not skip meals or choose less favorable foods out of hunger and convenience. Make a plan every Saturday or Sunday, or the day before you usually shop.

Originally Published November 5, 2009

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