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Meal Planning For Families On The Go!

Paying The BillsIn today’s economy having a hectic schedule seems to be the norm for American families. As a result, sales at fast food restaurants have consecutively been on the rise.

According to Wikipedia, “In the United States, consumers spent about $110 billion on fast food in 2000 (which increased from $6 billion in 1970). The National Restaurant Association forecasted that fast food restaurants in the U.S. would reach $142 billion in sales in 2006, a 5% increase over 2005. In comparison, the full-service restaurant segment of the food industry is expected to generate $173 billion in sales.”

Fast food may taste good but it is high in calories and highest in Trans-fat. We need to get back to preparing our own meals, and teaching our children the importance of a home-cooked meal. Don’t think you have the time it takes to prepare a meal? Planning your meals in advance is a time-saving, cost-effective method that works. All you need to do is carve time out of your busy schedule either on the weekend or during your lunch break, and plan your meals for the upcoming week.

Ask your family for ideas to get them involved and infuse their suggestions for your meals. You can even look through cookbooks and magazines or search the internet for recipe ideas.

Once you have some recipes stretch your dollar farther by purchasing staple items (i.e. potatoes, rice) in large quantities. Incorporate something from all five food groups, including lots of fruits, vegetables and salad. These are great side dishes, that don’t require a lot of preparation.

  • Try meatless meals including pasta, rice and potatoes.
  • Breakfast for dinner. Your kids will love this and for you it’s another quick and easy way to save time.
  • Crock pots are a great way to cook (i.e. soup, stew, casseroles and even dessert) using very little planning or preparation. Simply add your ingredients the night before, turn it down low and when you come home you dinner will be cooked.

You and your family’s weekly schedule will determine if you can cook meals the day of or prepare them in advance to thaw and bake later, so plan accordingly. Since today’s society seems to be dependent on computers, internet and high technology smartphones there are websites and apps created that offer recipes, recipe organization and even meal planning. Go to http://www.thekitchn.com/5-online-meal-and-menu-planning-tools-169221 to find a few of them.

Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer

Reference: Fast Food.  (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2013 from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Food

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