Slimming For Summer Series NANCY FREEMAN, MSU HOME ECONOMIST
It’s that time of year when the weather gets hot and cooler clothes come out of the dresser drawer. Follow the Slimming for Summer series over the next few weeks for help losing unwanted winter weight gain.
FOUR STEPS TO MENU PLANNING
Step One – Check the food you have on hand (in the cabinets, cupboards, or the pantry; in the refrigerator; in the freezer).
Step Two – Look at the sale papers or grocery store ads to determine what specific foods are on sale for the current week.
Step Three – Start with the meal which is your family’s main meal of the day. Let’s say it’s the evening meal. For this meal, choose the meat or meat substitute (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, peas, peanut butter) first. Consider Step 1 and Step 2 above when making this choice. Next, choose the vegetable, the fruit, the bread or bread substitute (roll, bun, muffin, bagel, tortilla), and milk or other beverage. Modify favorite meals to reduce the fat and don’t forget about portion control. Next, plan the breakfast meal, which usually includes milk, cereal, fruit, and toast as an example. Then, plan the lunch. Add snack ideas for between meals. Any nutritious, easy-to-fix food can be a good snack. These choices can help you meet the number of servings in each of the five food groups.
Step Four – Use the “10 Checkpoints for Menu Planning” so you can see how well you have done in planning one day’s meals and snacks.
10 CHECKPOINTS FOR MENU PLANNING
Have you included all the necessary food groups for meals and snacks planned for this day?
Are the number of servings in all meals and snacks enough to meet required number of servings for: - meat or meat substitutes group? (2-3 per day) - vegetables? (3-5 per day) - fruits? (2-4 per day) - enriched or whole-grain breads or substitutes? (6-11 per day) - milk or substitutes? (2-3 per day)
Have you planned for leftover foods to be served either within the next two days or to be wrapped, labeled, and frozen and included within the next month?
Do the combinations of foods have appeal?
Does each meal include a variety of: q Color - green, red, yellow, brown, white foods? q Flavors - sweet, sour, bland, spicy? q Textures - crisp, soft, liquid, chewy? q Temperatures - hot, cold, warm, cool? q Shapes, Sizes - small, big, round, square?
Have you included foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron?
Have you thought about your family’s personal likes and dislikes?
Do the foods vary from day to day or week to week?
Have different forms or kinds of foods been included (such as fresh, canned, frozen, dried, method of cooking)?
Have seasonal fruits and vegetables been included?
BUSY PERSON’S CHICKEN
1 lb. raw chicken breast, skinned
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup canned green beans
2 cups water
2 dehydrated chicken cubes
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. dry butter substitute granules
Dissolve chicken broth cubes in hot water. In the bottom of a 2-quart casserole, layer in this order: rice, green beans, skinned chicken breast and seasonings. Pour hot broth over casserole. Cover. Place in a 350 ° F oven for approximately 1 hour. Yield: 6 servings