- Make it a habit to prepare a grocery list, go to the store and have food readily available at home. This may mean weekly, biweekly or monthly shopping. Do what works best for you.
- Create a meal plan for the week. Start by selecting a grain, a protein and a vegetable for each meal. Work on basic cooking techniques and work your way up to more complex recipes (see the Shopping List online at www.Healthy.FLmedical.org for options).
- Use this What’s for Dinner? resource at www.mealtime.org to plan your meals more effectively
- Choose healthier cooking methods, such as baking, boiling, broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming.
- Frozen meals can be convenient options. Find healthier options by observing these guidelines (300-500 calories, less than 600mg sodium, and over 10 grams of protein). Skip frozen dinners that are breaded/fried or include creamy sauces and gravies).
- Use measuring cups and spoons to keep portions under control.
- Aim to get your family involved in the process of both preparation and cooking. It is essential to teach future generations basic culinary skills and the importance of healthy eating habits.
- Try growing your own vegetables and/or herbs. You don’t necessarily need a back yard. Grab a few small- to-medium pots and plant some seedlings.
- Contact your local Master Gardener or become a Master Gardener yourself. Visit the master garden program at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/ to learn more.
- Designate a place to eat and “unplug” from technology. This helps to reduce mindless eating and encourages mealtime conversations.
- Have a positive attitude and outlook. You can do this!