All Entries For meal planning
Picture this: You're standing in a grocery store aisle packed 7 feet high with cereal. As you try to compare the hyped-up claims, nutritional info and, oh yeah, prices of several brands, your kid rushes over, begging for some new sugary cereal he saw on TV. The checkout line is getting longer, your patience is getting shorter and you still have no idea what to toss into the cart. Fortunately, there's a solution: Become a nutrition sleuth and learn to ID the important facts on labels—fast.
Fifty-four percent of shoppers in the U.S. read food labels when purchasing a product for the first time. But whether they fully understand many of the terms used is another story entirely. "It's a huge problem because people are frequently blinded by a flashy label or vague claims—and they often don't look at packages closely," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time. "If you put in the effort just once, you can develop a list of foods that are good for you, and then all you have to do is buy them in the future." Read More ›
When you think of shaving calories from your day, a strict diet and exercise regime may come to mind. But it doesn’t have to be that hard! The following simple changes to your daily routine could help you stop snacking, get your body to burn extra calories and more. It's the little things, right?
1. Exercise at night.
Evening sweat sessions can curb cravings that watching TV can't. According to an April 2013 study in the journal Obesity, our circadian system makes us hungriest a few hours before bedtime. But you may feel fuller after working out: A different study in the journal Metabolism found that perceived fullness was higher among participants after 12 weeks of aerobic training than before they were exercising. So a brisk walk after dinner each night may make you less likely to snack before bed. Read More ›
Sure, you should always be thinking about improving your health. But some times of the week deserve a little more attention than others. Here's why.
Mondays You Should: Get Moving
Research shows that a heart attack is more likely at the start of the work week, possibly due to increased stress levels. Counter this with a 30-minute morning session of moderate-intensity cardio (like a bike ride). It's been found to quell anxiety, even when you're facing a tough task later in the day. Read More ›
Per your requests, our recipe ideas come in a handy, downloadable calendar packed full of meal ideas that are healthy and delicious. (It's printable, too!) Whether you use this calendar every day or just use it for ideas is up to you. We hope we've inspired you to get into the kitchen and get cooking!
Each week we'll choose a different theme: our favorite no-cook summer recipes, 7 days of meatless meals, or a week of diabetes-friendly dinners, for example. If you have a special dietary request, let us know in the comments, and we'll do our best to devise a recipe plan that might suit your needs.
By posting a weekly calendar, we think it's easier for you to save and even reuse these recipe collections over time.
This week's theme is Gluten-Free Dinners.
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Down home Southern cooking has produced some of our finest classic American dishes. At the same time, many of these original recipes include unwanted fats, calories and sodium. With some simple changes, we can enjoy this quintessential comfort cuisine and still stay on-track with our health goals. Read More ›
Finding time to make a healthy dinner is a challenge for many of us. One of the best tips you'll hear is to freeze meals for busy nights to avoid the greasy drive-thru or pricey takeout traps. But how do you know if a meal will freeze well? How much time will it take to create a few make-ahead meals? And how in the world do you reheat and serve those frozen meals?
We've got you covered.
Before You Begin:
- Pick a day to plan meals. Ask your kids, spouse, or friends for ideas. Better yet, log onto SparkRecipes.com for easy, quick recipes. Peruse grocery store ads, then make your final meal plan.
- Write your grocery list--and take it with you when you shop.
- Once home, store recipe ingredients together in your pantry and refrigerator.
- Set aside a couple of hours to cook your freeze-for-later meals. (Make sure you follow food safety guidelines for storage and reheating.)
Before you head to the store, let's talk about which foods freeze well, and which don't: Read More ›
At many dinner tables, the term "meatloaf" strikes fear in the hearts of even the most hardened palates. I have spent considerable time trying to bring peace among those who in my family who love and hate this classic American dish. Even for those who crave this American delicacy, there's the problem of how to prepare it without the fat and calories that wreek havoc on your health goals. Start by substituting lean meats, whole grains and vegetables. Use fresh spices and dried herbs to give it an international feel. Did you know meatloaf can even be made without meat? Have fun in your kitchen and enjoy these healthy meatloaf SparkRecipes. Read More ›
One way to bring fun and excitement into your kitchen is to cook recipes that come from around the world. Even if you are not able to travel much, you can introduce your loved ones to other cultures and exciting flavors by using ingredients from the international aisle in most super markets, spice shops, or specialty markets. These recipes are simple to prepare and versatile. As you master them, start experimenting to create your own new international favorites. Read More ›
I recently came across my great grandmother's focaccia pizza recipe and was surprised that it served 100 people. Apparently, cooking for a crowd was the norm in my family. One thing my family has taught me is that cooking a big meal doesn't have to be complicated or unhealthy. My guests often mention how surprised they are how tasty a healthy dish can be and how inspired they are to try simple substitutes in their recipes. Here are seven SparkRecipes that can easily be doubled when cooking for a crowd.
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Cooking in batches is one of the best kept secrets for saving time and money, while promoting good health at the same time. With three school age kids, time is a rare commodity. Instead of turning to processed and packaged foods, I take advantage of the days I can cook and select healthy recipes that I can easily double or triple the batch. We enjoy these meals the next night as leftovers or we take them to work or school the next day in a thermos or Tupperware. Here are my favorite batch cooking recipes and resources. Read More ›
Did you know that our resident healthy cooking expert Chef Meg has been creating original recipes and comfort food makeovers for more than three years on SparkRecipes.com? She has amassed hundreds of recipes. We've rounded up her seven most popular, as selected by SparkRecipes.com users. Read More ›