The best trick you can use to make a healthy purchase is planning your healthy menu , the ally to put together a tighter shopping list to your needs. So when you are in the store, it will be easier for you to buy what you really need and not succumb to cravings.
What should your healthy menu contain?
In order to prepare a balanced menu that meets all the body’s needs, you must include foods that provide protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This can be very difficult if you do not know in which foods you can find these nutrients, so it is better that you simplify your work using the guide on how to make a balanced plate . This will help you visualize how to organize each of your daily feedings.
Once you know what components should be present in each meal, start to put together your menu based on your routine and validate that they provide all the components that I recommend in my previous post; if not, complement it with a food that combines and you like, that covers the missing nutrients. For example, if you usually eat yogurt for breakfast with granola, complement this meal with some of your favorite seasonal fruits.
Although the most important thing when planning your weekly menu is to define how you are going to put together your meals from now on, there are other tips that (although they will not make it healthier 😉 ) can be very useful to improve planning and guarantee its success.
The first thing is that you have your template at hand, separating the meal times in columns according to your habits (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and if you have a snack between meals) and in rows the days of the week that you want to plan; You can do it by hand or print a template that you get on the internet or make on your computer, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Once you’re ready, keep the following considerations in mind when putting together your weekly menu:
Vary and make your menus a rainbow
Alternate the components that you include in your plate and that are part of the same food group, such as vegetables. So you can benefit from the different properties of each one (since not all contribute the same), and you will avoid falling into monotony. A trick to ensure that you consume a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from vegetables and fruits is to make your plate a rainbow, because placing foods of different colors is safer that you provide more nutrients to the body.
Consider your routine and that of your family
When putting together the planning, take into account your usual activities and special events, as well as those of the people who will benefit from that menu; for example the days you go to the gym, travel, or have special meetings. If you have children, it is very useful to consider when planning those days if they have a meeting or special activity (a football game, for example), their snacks or mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks if they do them, etc. All this will avoid last minute purchases that take you away from healthy planning.
Include drinks in planning
Drinks are often not considered in menu planning, leading to the purchase of products with a high content of sugars, artificial sweeteners, colorings and preservatives. But if you really want to improve your diet, start contemplating healthier options that help replace those harmful drinks for our health. This way, this topic will not catch you off guard when eating and you will avoid getting tired in case the idea of accompanying all your meals with water bores you.
Although I recommend that you give preference to water as the drink par excellence , there are other alternatives as healthy as water, and super delicious, such as shakes or flavored waters . The most important thing is that avoid drinking soft drinks and juices.
Make a menu of more than 7 days
You can plan based on your purchase frequency, however, I recommend that you prepare the menu cycle as such with a time greater than 7 days in mind. This will prevent the same menu from repeating every Monday, or Tuesday. Remember that the idea is not to get bored.
Involve children in planning
If you have children at home, this tip will help them to become more familiar with this task and to like the programmed recipes more. Also, you might be surprised by their creativity . The best thing about this habit is that you can make 2 or 3 menu schedules and then only reuse those schedules for subsequent purchases, making the adaptations you need of course.