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What’s Cooking: 4 steps to meal plan like a pro

(NC) If you’re like most families, the time crunch is real. Extracurricular activities for the kids and hectic workloads can take a bite out of your time for putting together family meals.

But enjoying meals together as much as you can helps your kids form a positive relationship with food. If you plan out what you’re going to eat and cook ahead of time, mealtimes can be more manageable.

Mastering the basics of meal planning in four easy steps is the key to eating healthy meals.

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Decide what to eat. Planning saves you time and makes daily meal decisions less stressful. Get inspired by browsing through recipes, seeing what healthy foods are on sale and checking what you already have in your fridge and cupboards. Post your meal plan so everyone can see it and assign each person a role.

Make a grocery list. Base it on the meals you’re going to make to minimize food waste.

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Stick to your list. This will help you save money and cut down on impulse buys.

Cook your meals. Make some meals ahead of time to ease the pressure on the super-busy days. Try cooking a double batch and freezing the extras. You can also prep some of the components when you have time to make assembly easier. For example, roast a large batch of vegetables or cook up a pot of ground turkey with lentils.

Find more information and subscribe to Canada’s food guide at canada.ca/foodguide.

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