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Must-Have Meal Planning Tips for a Healthy Family

 
 
Feeding an active family a nutritious menu is never easy, especially when time is short. However the following strategies, time-saving tips and recipes for each meal (plus snacks!) will help you nourish your clan with less stress. 

 

BETTER BREAKFASTS

Aim for breakfast should have lots of fiber and whole grains, some protein and good fat, and as little added sugar as possible. Here are a few ways to boost nutrition with ease: 
 
3 Tips for Breakfast Success
  1. Beat breakfast boredom. Keep chopped nuts, dried fruit and seeds on-hand for topping yogurt, cereal, grain bowls, smoothie bowls and more. Shop the bulk aisle to save!
  2. Make ahead. Recipes such as Apple Oatmeal in a Jar can be made in a big batch on the weekend and divided out throughout the week. Or make Berry Oatmeal in a Jar or prepare steel-cut oats in a slow-cooker overnight and then top with fruit in the morning. 
  3. Homemade convenience. Store a batch of wholesome muffins in the freezer. Thaw individual muffins overnight in the fridge for the morning rush. Looking for more tasty ways to wake-up? Check out these 12 recipes for a better-for-you breakfast
 
 

 

LUNCH BOX WINS

A kid-friendly lunch doesn't have to be nut butter and jelly. Foods like fruit kabobs, pizza quesadillas and noodle bowls be just as easy to make as a sandwich. Help your kids power through their day with a lunch full of fiber, whole grains, some protein and healthy fat, a veggie and just a bit of natural sugar, like a piece of fresh fruit.
 
3 Tips for Lunch Success
  1. Big chill. Make baked pasta, chili or a casserole and freeze in individual portions. 
  2. DIY. Give kids something they can assemble themselves like Club Sandwich Kabobs and Lunch Box Quesadilla. (Check out more kid-friendly lunch recipes and ideas.)
  3. Hands-on. Kids are crazy for dipping, stacking and rolling up their food into fun treats. Try Black Bean Hummus, which can also be used in sandwiches.
Looking for more healthy lunch recipes? We’ve picked 12 of our favorite lunch recipes that are full of flavor. 
 

 

EASY DINNER IDEAS

Simple, fast meals can still mean big flavor. Just opt for ingredients that keep prep work at a minimum. Here are a few tips and recipes for getting delicious dinners on the table without sacrificing time or flavor. (Hint: Get the whole family involved!)
 
3 Tips for Dinner Success
  1. Shortcuts. Comforting and convenient, a store-bought rotisserie chicken makes many meals easier like quesadillas, tacos, soups, wraps and pastas. 
  2. Make some, buy some. Mix store-prepared and homemade foods to save time. Rely on our value-priced 365 Everyday Value® frozen line to help. Here’s one idea: Combine broth, frozen veggies and frozen wontons for an easy soup.
  3. Group effort. Get each family member to choose the menu on a regular rotation. Check out online recipe collections and choose a few new recipes to try out.
Check out more easy dinner recipes to reduce the 6 p.m. scramble. 
 
 
Recipe: PB&J Bites

 

SNACK SOLUTIONS

If you’re refueling in between school and afternoon activities or grabbing something for the mid-afternoon slump, we’ve got tasty and time-saving snack ideas. 
 
3 Tips for Snack Success
  1. Snacks at the ready. These snack-happy veggies work best for prepping in advance: carrots, celery, jicama, radishes, grape tomatoes and bell peppers. Store them in water or add a wet paper towel to individual containers or baggies.
  2. Do the dip. Package up single servings of salsa, dip or hummus and grab veggies, crackers or pita chips for afternoon snacks.
  3. Pop pop! Make or buy a large bag of popcorn or trail mix and portion into snack-size servings.
Whether you like sweet and nutty or savory and crunchy, these recipes for easy snacks can be made in batches ahead of time, stocking your snack drawer for the whole week.