Create Your Own Menu
Use ready to go menus and shopping lists or plan your own weekly menus.
Save money and avoid impulse buying. Planning will help you save money by preventing over buying and waste.
Eat healthy well-balanced meals. Get more variety in your diet.
Planning your own menu can be an economical way to save time and money. By planning your menu ahead of time you can be sure you are preparing healthy well, balanced meals, avoid frequent runs to the supermarket, and save money by purchasing items on sale.
Preparing Healthy Well Balanced Meals
To prepare healthy well, balanced meals you must first know what a healthy well balanced meal is. Before you begin menu planning you might want to review two things.
The American Dietary Guidelines 2010 and USDA’s “My Plate”
The American DietaryGuidelines are general guide to improve the nutritional diet of healthy individuals. The ultimate goal of the guidelines is to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The American Dietary Guidelines were revised in 2010 and are a great tool to understanding how Americans eat. To view the U.S. Dietary Guidelines click here.
USDA’s MyPlate was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2011. MyPlate is the newest version of nutritional information provided by the USDA. It replaces my pyramid. MyPlate is a great source for nutritional information. The three main areas MyPlate encourages are: Balancing your Calories, Foods to Increase, and Foods to Reduce. I often get asked how much food is appropriate? The exciting thing about MyPlate is it gives you a personalized diet plan. To learn more click here.
Steps to Plan your own menu:
Planning your own menu. Using the guideline from Choose my plate and The American Dietary Guidelines, you can plan healthy well-balanced meals. You can include your entire family in the planning of the menu.
Step 1 : Print Blank Menu Sheet from website.
Step 2 :Select an Entrée for each day. Use the recipes provided for ideas or create your own. Use can choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrée sections. Select a variety of entrees from different protein sources. (Chicken, Fish, Beef, Pork, Vegetarian etc.) Remember to include 2-3 servings of weekly of good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Dinner is an excellent time to eat good sources of Omega 3 such as salmon, tuna, halibut, walnut, flaxseed and soybeans. Fill the Entrée on your blank menu for each day.
Step 3 :Choose a starchy side dish. You want to choose a starchy side dish that compliments your entrée. You can browse the starchy sides, soups and breads recipes for ideas. Remember half of your grains should come from whole grains. Examples of whole grains are quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, bulgur and barley.
Step 4:Choose a vegetable and fruit. You want half your plate to be fruits and vegetables. Choose a variety of colors and textures to compliment your entrée and starchy side.
You can browse the vegetable, salad, soup, and fruit recipes for ideas.
Step 5: Remember to include a serving of dairy such as lowfat milk to balance the meal
Step 6:Print out the recipes you will need for the week.
Step 7:Make a grocery list from the recipes and menu.
Stir Fry Shrimp with Garlic Chili Marinade
Wheat Berry Salad
Fresh Steamed Aspargus