By Crystal Petersen, RDN, LD If you’re like many families, summertime means life on the go as summer camps, lessons and youth sports create busy schedules. It’s a win to remember that eating right for everyone starts with simple meals, prepared at home. Healthy and nutritious To reduce stress and save time and money, try weekly meal planning. Use a calendar you already maintain to jot down your menu notes and grocery lists. Planning ahead can save you money by not relying on expensive fare from convenience stores or concession stands. Begin with breakfast. The morning meal really is that important, especially before a practice or game. Try creating a five-day breakfast menu with your family’s favorite breakfast combinations, then repeat every five days. Rely on breakfast staples that you keep on hand at all times. Find sample breakfast menus and a shopping list of staples on our website. Simple lunch strategies: ● Get creative with sandwiches. You can cover at least three food groups in one sandwich. Add a glass of milk and serving of fruit for a balanced meal. ● Give your teen or babysitter responsibility for meal prep—even turning it into a lesson or craft time. Creative ideas online include Mollie Katzen’s Number Salad. ● Carry a lunch away from home. Pack it the night before, using the sandwich ideas found on our website. ● Dinner theme nights. Use themes to narrow dinner options, so planning isn’t overwhelming and everyone’s favorite can be on the menu. For example, Mondays can be “sheet pan meal” days, with prep over the weekend, followed by Tuesday burger nights and Wednesday pasta meals. Sample weekly menus may be found on our website. Planning ahead and simplifying meal choices can add up to better meals—all summer long. Up your game this summer: Commit to healthier meals Grocery and meal ideas referenced in the article may be found here: Adam Scherling Administrator Keely Harken Communication & Foundation ProgramManager Kelly Jans Community Outreach Specialist Crystal Petersen Wellness Program Manager LIVE WELL is published as a community service for the residents of the service area of Grundy County Memorial Hospital, 201 East J Ave., Grundy Center, IA 50638, grundycountyhospital.org, 319-824-5421 Standard U.S. Postage PAID Grundy County Memorial Hospital 201 E. J Ave. Grundy Center, IA 50638 2022 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Information in LIVE WELL comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your health care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations.