Meal Planning Brings Healthy to The Table

Save Time, Money and Sanity with Meal Planning

In recognition of National Nutrition Month this month, ThedaCare registered dietitian Lori Knapp encourages meal planning as a way to live healthier lives. “Meal planning helps us avoid the pitfall of convenience foods,” said Knapp, who works at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London.

To make meal planning a success, start by creating a weekly menu. The internet provides a variety of web sites with meals that cater to all tastes. Other web sites share meal plans for a week or a month. “It is so easy to pick and choose, based on family favorites and budgets,” said Knapp.

Planning ahead allows for healthier foods at the table and less mealtime ruts. Instead of turning to fast food take out or junk food, “we will eat healthier, waste less time and alleviate stress,” said Knapp.

It helps to include all meals in the plan, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. A shopping list makes it easier to stay on task. Include meals that utilize ingredients already in the house. Also use ingredients that are fresh and healthy. “Meal planning allows you to shop more efficiently for groceries,” said Knapp. “Meal planning also means less waste. You have a purpose for every ingredient.”

Meal planning not only allows efficient shopping and less waste but knowing what to buy allows you to shop smarter. “You can find out where to buy ingredients cheaper,” said Knapp.

Meal planning allows variety. Also you can get the family involved with selecting new dishes. “With so many resources at hand, you could find a new family favorite to add to the rotation,” said Knapp.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.