Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Was it health-related? If so, you’re not alone: staying fit and healthy is a consistent goal for many people and was the fifth most popular New Year’s resolution last year. Eating healthy is an important part of staying fit and healthy, and many people strive to eat better year after year. But in order to achieve any goal or resolution, you need a plan. And if your goal is to eat better in 2015, you need a menu plan. Aside from the benefits of being healthier, a menu plan also helps accomplish other important goals, like spending more time with family and getting organized!
Several years ago, I made my own resolution to begin menu planning in order to make my life less chaotic as I juggled the responsibilities of home and work. I didn’t know at the time what an impact it would have on me and my family. Menu planning helped bring balance back into my family life and has become an integral part of my weekly routine.
This time of year is the perfect time to start menu planning. With short winter days and the struggle to pack in as much as we possibly can, menu planning can make all the difference in feeding your family tasty and nutritious meals on a tight schedule.
I developed a handy acronym, SCALES, to illustrate the process I use for menu planning:
When menu planning, it helps to get the whole family involved. Children are more likely to try food if they’ve had a hand in planning and preparing it, so ask them for input and let them help you cook! The same holds true for snacks, and planning out your snacks in advance is a smart way to keep everyone on track and eating better this year. Making your children part of the process also creates an opportunity to spend quality time together and lays the foundation for healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Need some ideas for fun snacks to make with your child? Check out these great “snacktivity” videos for examples of how you can spend time with your little one while enjoying a healthy snack!