I found a really fun freebie for you guys this week! As many of you know, I LOVE eMeals! eMeals is a meal planning service that sends you a weekly list of recipes including side dishes with a completed grocery list. Not only does eMeals get you organized, but they can help you eat healthier, save money and have more time with your family…and who doesn’t want that?!
Just tonight, after a long, full day, I realized we had zip, nada, zilch in the fridge as far as meal prep ingredients for the week. Never fear! eMeals is here! I simply opened the app, swiped through to create my menu plan for the week and hit the “Shopping List” button. A quick trip to the store, and before I knew it, Balsamic Beef Tips with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Green Peas were waiting on our dinner table. Are you ready for the free eMeals planning service trial? eMeals is offering 2 weeks free of their service right now for you to try out! If you decide to stick with it after the two weeks, you can enjoy your choice of over 60 meal plan options including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As we move our family into the new year, here are the EIGHT promises I am making to my family as we start the New Year.
Take Stock—I always fool myself into thinking I have a well-stocked refrigerator or pantry but the reality is actually a different situation. I am committing to purging all items that are not only expired but unhealthy. I’m also investing in some OXO lock top containers so I can keep them full of chopped fresh vegetables and fruit to nibble between meals.
Cook with The Kids—Allow your kids to help prepare dinner by getting them involved with age-appropriate kitchen duties. The benefits are innumerable. Not only will they learn about the ingredients, healthy food and measurements, but they’ll also feel a sense of pride when happy eaters compliment them on a job well done.
Plan Ahead—Say goodbye to the angst of having to decide what’s for dinner or making the drive-through the default by planning out your meals. You’ll save time and money—and eat healthier—when the week’s meals are planned ahead and all ingredients are combined into one, easy-to-use shopping list.
Utilize Themes—Our kids have always loved it when family friends inject Taco Tuesday into their weekly menus, and we recently had a discussion on the topic of adding more cultural menu choices in our own kitchen. We’re going to be eating more Greek and Indian inspired meals, as well as Mexican options that go beyond tacos. What do you think, Mediterranean on Mondays, Asian on Wednesdays, Traditional Thursdays?
Pile on the Veggies—The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we all need to eat more vegetables, which are naturally low in calories and high in hunger-curbing fiber. The best strategy: Fill half your plate with vegetables rather than calorie-rich carbs and meat. Add fresh or dried herbs and citrus zest or juice to veggies for extra flavor without adding extra calories. Be sure to visit local farmers’ markets when possible for the best selection of seasonal, just-picked produce.
Pack a Lunch—These days, I’m packing three lunches per day, one for my husband and two for the littles. I’m committing to planning smart from the night before so I have great goodies to add variety to the lunch boxes. My best tip for fun lunch box items is to let the recipient assemble lunch themselves. Make your own tacos or sandwiches is a lot more fun!
Downsize Your Plate—We are dumping our standard dinner plates for ones of the smaller variety! A standard serving of cooked meat is just 3 ounces—about the size of a deck of cards. It will take some time to adjust to our smaller plates (and smaller meals) but we’re aiming toward succeeding with this goal!
Put Away the Leftovers— Too often I find we go back for seconds when we – in reality – aren’t that hungry. By committing to putting away the leftovers straight after I’ve dished out everyone’s plate, I think we’ll have much better success with eating a decent size serving instead of over-indulging.
eMeals has just introduced Meal Planning at your fingertips via your iPhone with customizable menus! I have said for several months that the only thing missing from the eMeals offering was the ability to delete meals that my family didn’t care for and structure my own week of meals including an adjusted shopping list. eMeals listened and they recently rolled out that feature. Awesome!
I’m happy to be committing to these 8 ways for our family to master our menus for 2015 with the help of eMeals. What tip would you most likely be to follow? What would you add?