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Get wholesome and lower your expenses with meal planning – Oklahoma State University

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Media Contact:
Trisha Gedon | Sr. Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 | trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

Some days, it may be a scramble to get a wholesome dinner on the desk on account of sports activities
practices, dance classes, membership conferences and different actions. Dinner time will be hectic
with no plan.

Jessica Riggin, Oklahoma State University Extension educator and Lincoln County Extension director, mentioned meal planning is an effective technique to serve wholesome meals and lower your expenses
on the grocery price range.

“With a meal plan, you identify the menu for the week and make a procuring listing. When
procuring, purchase solely what’s wanted for these deliberate meals,” she mentioned. “You lower your expenses
with much less impulse procuring and in addition save time by not making extraneous journeys to the
retailer all through the week.”

Riggin suggests meal planning for your loved ones’s largest meal of the day, which for
most individuals is the night meal. Without a plan, it may be simple to fall into the behavior
of pizza supply or drive-thru meals, which generally aren’t as wholesome and are extra
costly.

Riggin mentioned she plans a whole month of meals at a time, however somebody simply beginning
out might begin with two or three meals per week and work up from there. Print off a
clean calendar web page to maintain monitor of the deliberate meals.

“The wonderful thing about meal planning is it’s catered to the precise wants of your
household,” she mentioned. “Look at your calendar and decide what nights you or your youngsters
have actions. Activities can affect what sort of meal to plan for that night.
Do you want one thing fast so you may make it to the ballgame? A slow-cooker meal
could possibly be an possibility. You may even put a drive-through meal or pizza supply in your
calendar. The level is you’ve deliberate for it.”

Consider theme nights to ease the planning course of, akin to soup night time, sheet-pan
dinners, slow-cooker meals, breakfast for dinner, grilling night time, and so forth. Riggin mentioned
if potential, cook dinner a much bigger meal on the weekend and plan to repurpose the leftovers
one other night time in the course of the week. Be positive to plan facet dishes together with the principle course.

“Try oven roasted greens for a distinct style. Just a little olive oil and seasonings
can change up the flavour and should entice choosy eaters to present it a attempt,” she mentioned.
“Sometimes, it takes a number of exposures earlier than a toddler develops a style for a specific
meals. Frozen greens are simply as wholesome as contemporary, and the standard is nice all
yr lengthy. However, do make the most of contemporary in-season fruit and veggies.”

Vegetables will be served in a wide range of methods, akin to steamed, roasted, uncooked, in a
stir fry or with a sauce. Each cooking methodology adjustments the flavour and texture. Someone
could not like uncooked broccoli however can’t get sufficient of it roasted.

Get the household concerned in selecting recipes, looking for substances and cooking
the meals, mentioned Riggin. These are good life expertise for everybody to have. Look at on-line
recipe websites for brand spanking new concepts. Be positive to learn by way of every recipe to make sure it suits
your well being objectives and life-style. 

“Another useful gizmo to assist with meal planning is the USDA’s MyPlate website. It gives steering for all age teams in addition to wholesome recipes on a price range and
helps with setting private objectives for wholesome consuming,” Riggin mentioned. “Consumers can
additionally signal as much as obtain tips, recipes and extra by way of e-mail that may be integrated
into your meal plan.”

OSU Extension gives further nutrition information on-line. Contact the closest OSU Extension county office for extra tips on meal planning, well being and wellness.

Watch Riggin show wholesome cooking tips and recipes on OSU Agriculture’s Oklahoma Gardening tv present.

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