Meal planning made easy: Where to start and how to set yourself up for success

MILWAUKEE -- Trying to get your diet on track? Meal planning can help. Registered dietitian Lisa Grudzielanek with Your Tasty Life joins Real Milwaukee to help you get started.

#1 Select dinner menu for the week (not day by day)

• Create a running list of what you already prepare (What main dishes do I prepare now? What side dishes?)

Add new recipes to increase variety and satisfaction
• Dust off a cookbook, visit websites, or use a cooking/recipe app.
• Throw in a new recipe each week or so, as feasible, to keep you and your family excited about coming to the dinner table.

Plot a weekly menu dropping in the meal for each day of the week
• Save your weekly menu so that when developing the following week`s menu, you`ll know which meals you had the previous week to avoid repetition
 As you plan your week consider the family schedule and time allotments. Sunday dinner may be more 'elaborate' or more than 30 minutes to cook. What day(s) would a slow cooker meal or take out help for a quick meal after practice? What evening am I away and prepare a meal the night before that create leftovers for another meal?

#2 Shop for the menu items
• Develop grocery list based off your weekly menu
• Grocery shop with your grocery list
o Try online grocery shopping with pick up or delivery service to save valuable time.
o Schedule a 'regular' grocery shopping day and time to complete this task, as you do other appointments on your calendar.

# 3 Prepare the item
• Schedule non-negotiable prep time
o Bottom line: Make the time. Determine your prep time and stick with it. Add it to your calendar.
• Enjoy family time at the dinner table, without interruptions
o Give yourself a pat on the back for feeding your family well and cherish the valuable time you are able to share together.