Celebrating the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics National Nutrition Month®: Meal Prep

by karen on March 14, 2018

This is the first of three blogs celebrating National Nutrition Month and the theme “Go Further with Food”.  Stay tuned for “Go Further with Food” by Preparing Snacks in Advance and “Go Further with Food” Using Food Prep Services.

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign celebrated annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the United States’ largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.  The National Nutrition Month® campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes registered dietitians as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.

2018 National Nutrition Month Theme

“Go Further with Food” is the theme for 2018, a reminder to eat healthfully for ongoing energy and wellness. Planning meals and snacks in advance is a great start toward implementing this theme. Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling having energy to put in a power workout at the end of your workday, the foods you choose can make a difference.  A little know-how about preparing meals and snacks in advance can help you “Go Further with Food”.

“Go Further with Food” by Preparing Meals in Advance

While it’s true that preparing meals in advance takes some time up-front, you’ll quickly see that time come back to you during the week, with added bonuses of energy to do other things, and savings to invest outside your food budget. Set aside a container to put the money in that you save each time you bypass convenience stores, fast food and sit-down restaurants, and drive-by coffee shops because of your meal prepping, and then reward yourself for the healthy routines you’re establishing.

To start a routine of preparing meals in advance, set aside time each week to plan your meals, decide on your meals that include a variety of your favorite, healthful foods, and create your grocery list.  Your grocery list will get you through the grocery store faster, save you money, and help ensure the foods you end up with at checkout are those that set you up for sound choices during the week.  Download this simple and efficient grocery list to get you started.

Once you have the foods needed for the recipes you’ve chosen, prep or cook some of your meals in advance.  There are also an array of meal services that can do part or all of the meal plan and prepping for you, offering a variety of options for meal plans to fit your needs. You can choose to use these services for the bulk of your meals, or just a few, during the week.

Preparing several meals in advance provides you with balanced meals that can easily be made or reheated throughout the week. Knowing you have a meal to come home to can eliminate the time and money spent eating out, and give you peace of mind that you have a healthy option waiting for you when you come through the door.

The Support you need to “Go Further with Food” by Preparing Meals in Advance

Meal planning is becoming a dying art.  If this article leaves you feeling anxious and overwhelmed as to where and how to start, you’re not alone.  Consult with a registered dietitian at Nutrition Connection to tailor a meal plan for you and walk you through the steps of implementing your healthy lifestyle.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s website also includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to support you as well. You can also follow National Nutrition Month on the Academy’s social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.


Karen Fisher, MS, RDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection.


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