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Meal Prepping Can be an Opportunity to Spend Quality Family Time

The spotlight in March is on nutrition, meal prepping and encouraging families to reduce food waste by planning ahead. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. Registered dietitian Susan Bowerman offers her expert advice on how parents can serve as good role models for their kids when it comes to food waste and developing healthy eating habits by meal prepping and quality time together.

meal prepping

Teach Your Kids About Meal Prepping

  • Teach kids about food waste. Don’t let the expiration date spook you! A sell-by date is a date that food has to be pulled from store shelves. However, adequately stored foods can last a lot longer. Milk, for instance, can last another week past that date, and eggs could last another three. Even perishable food, like ground beef, is good for a couple of days after you buy it, assuming you store it properly. A use-by date is suggested for best flavor or quality, but foods are safe to eat after this date.
  • Involve Family in Meal Planning. Take time as a family to inventory your food and plan your meals for the week. Everyone, including your kids, will feel included, reduce food waste, and save money.
  • Shop Only For What You Really Need. Buy only what you can consume before the food spoils. Yes, larger packages are usually a better value than smaller ones, but not if the food is perishable and you end up tossing most of it. Then, cook only what you know you’ll eat, or have plans for your leftovers. You can use them for another meal, pack them up for lunch or freeze them for a quick meal later in the month.
  • Encourage Healthy Recipe Creations. Cooking can be a creative experience. Once kids have some basic skills and learn to follow recipes, they should be encouraged to get creative. Start with a simple recipe. For example, a smoothie or shake made with flavored protein powder, such as Protein Drink Mix in Peanut Cookie flavor by Herbalife Nutrition can be a delicious snack option that mixes easily with milk. Allow kids to experiment by adding different fruits, vegetables, spices or extracts. Once they’ve come up with their own recipes, many kids enjoy creating their own recipe file.
  • Make Cooking Together Fun Quality Time. Spending time together in the kitchen can be fun and relaxing for both kids and adults. Many kids don’t need much coaxing to join you in the kitchen, so use this time to enjoy each other’s company and talk about how good—and good for you—your meal is going to be.
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For more nutritious tips from Susan visit www.DiscoverGoodNutrition.com.

 

 

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Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition

Susan Bowerman is the director of nutrition training at Herbalife Nutrition , where she is responsible for the development of nutrition education and training materials, and is one of the primary authors of the Herbalife sponsored blog, Discover Good Nutrition. She is a registered dietitian, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics and a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Susan graduated with distinction in biology from the University of Colorado, and received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Colorado State University. She then completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas. Susan has taught extensively and developed educational programs targeted to individuals, groups and industry in her areas of expertise, including health promotion, weight management and sports nutrition. Prior to her role at Herbalife, she was the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and has held appointments as adjunct professor in nutrition at Pepperdine University and as lecturer in nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Susan was a consultant to the (then) Los Angeles Raiders for six seasons, and was a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times Health Section for two years. She is a co-author of 23 research papers, 14 book chapters, and was a co-author of two books for the public: “What Color is Your Diet?” and “The L.A. Shape Diet” by Dr. David Heber, published by Harper Collins in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

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