Healthy meal plans need to provide for every eventuality. Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work because life throws us a curve ball. Maybe you thought you’d be home for lunch, but your errands took longer than expected. Or perhaps you ended up just eating a few appetizers at the cocktail party and you come home late and you’re starving.
Since life will never be fully predictable, healthy meal plans need to provide convenient snacks and mini-meals that are easily transportable.
How to Make Healthy Meal Plans
The National Institutes of Health gives this advice about healthy meal plans:
A healthy meal plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
A healthy eating plan:
- Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars
- Controls portion sizes
Here’s a good suggestion for a healthy and portable snack or mini meal:
Ingredients (makes 12 bars)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 3 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 2 medium apples [3″ diameter])
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.
- Mix flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.
- Cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly.
- Spread half of the crumb mixture in the baking pan. Top with apple slices and raisins and sprinkle with sugar. Spread remaining crumb mixture evenly over apples.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool and cut into 12 bars.
- Substitute ripe pears for apples
- Serve warm topped with vanilla yogurt
Nutrition (per bar)
Click here to add these apple bars to your healthy meal plan.