Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free Family Meal Plan Lists for Latino Families

Latino families can eat healthy and save money without sacrificing freshness or flavor by downloading Meals Matter's free online Family Meal Plan and Shopping List.

This new tool helps families eat healthy by ensuring a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy foods, whole grains and meats, beans and nuts. By providing a shopping list with ingredients to prepare a week of dinners for six people, families can save money by limiting impulse buys and extra trips to the grocery store.

"Everyone can benefit from planning meals and using healthy shopping lists, but this is a change for families used to making frequent trips to the market or grocery store for fresh food items," said Los Angeles-area registered dietitian Monica Montes with N.E.W. Health Consultants.

The Meals Matter "Family Meal Plan and Shopping List" combines traditional ingredients like beans, rice, nopales, mango and tomatillos . It also offers healthier versions of familiar recipes like enchiladas that use plain yogurt instead of sour cream for more calcium, protein and potassium with fewer calories. In addition, a weeklong shopping list with enough items to prepare six servings of each recipe.

Planning, preparing and eating meals together at home is a healthy, fun and inexpensive way to stay connected as a family. Home-cooked meals are generally less expensive and more nutritious than meals eaten away from home, and children who help family members prepare and enjoy healthy foods will form healthy eating habits as well. So the web site also shares important tips in English and Spanish on storing fresh produce and cooking with children.

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