“MOM! What’s for dinner?”

Young child stares at dinnerI love food because, well, I am a dietitian and I think part of my job description says something like “Must love food.” On the other hand, I hate food because I struggle every day with what to make for dinner.

My husband seems to survive on meat and potatoes which doesn’t model well for our two-year-old who won’t eat vegetables. (The exception being peas, which he calls “tiny meatballs.”) Maybe it is BECAUSE I’m a dietitian, I feel my brain should just automatically create wonderful, healthy and tasty concoction my family will love each day, but my brain doesn’t work that way.

But, fret not – I have a solution! Drum roll, please… Meal Planning! What a novel idea, eh? Here’s how I make it work.

1)   Decide on 5 healthy meals we plan to eat throughout the week.
2)   Write down the ingredients needed for each recipe/meal so the grocery list ready.
3)   Each day, my husband, (since he’s the picky one) decides which of the five meals we will have for dinner that evening. This also helps because he feels like he’s having some say in the decision and therefore, will usually eat it.

This works so well for us because the ingredients are all on-hand so there are not “quick trips” to the store – which inevitably lead to unhealthy impulse purchases.

A couple of recommended websites where you can find nutritious recipes include: CookingLight.com, EatingWell.com and CleanEating.com. In fact, Clean Eating Magazine occasionally provides “Five meals for under $50” and includes the grocery list so the work is done for you!

Overall, meal planning has helped me lean more toward loving food. Now my challenge for you…How can I get my two-year-old to eat something besides tiny meatballs?

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For recipe ideas from Lisa, subscribe to Fort HealthCare’s Health 365 eNews. The monthly eNewsletter contains a different tried and approved recipe from Lisa, along with nutritional content.

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