By Dani Renouf, RD, MSc, CDE
Find yourself wondering what to cook for dinner again, only to order another takeout?
Rushing out of the door in the morning, not having time for breakfast? The Meal Planner
tool on the Kidney Community Kitchen can help you plan ahead and make healthy
eating less stressful and much easier.
Benefits of Meal Planning
Meal planning in no way means rigidity. On the contrary, meal planning can give you more
flexibility to make informed choices, stay organized during a busy week, and help increase variety
in your foods, so you can better meet your nutrient needs.
Benefits of meal planning include:
- Making healthier choices with less stress
Practicing meal planning and preparation ahead of time helps ensure that you always have
nutrient-dense food ready in the fridge, allowing you to put together a balanced meal quickly and
without stress. Having food ready makes it less likely for you to opt for takeout or fast food when
- Saving time and money while grocery shopping
With meal planning, you can head to the grocery store with a shopping list ready to go. Having a
shopping list saves you time and money (as long as you are prepared to stick to it).
- Reducing food waste
More than half of the food produced in Canada is wasted every year. With meal planning, you can buy
only what you need and help reduce food waste in your home.
Meal planning and preparation tips
- Prepare individual components in advance to mix and match
If you are someone who gets bored from eating the same thing every day, preparing individual
components in advance gives you the flexibility to mix and match. For example, make a large pot of
rice or pasta and freeze leftovers to use in dishes later on. Cut up your favorite vegetables and
store them in the fridge or freezer for later use in
stir fry dishes or soups.
- Have homemade dressings and sauces on hand
Store-bought dressings can sometimes be packed with sodium, additives, and saturated fat. Homemade
dressings are easy to prepare and add a lot of flavor to meals without
3. Plan and prepare breakfast and snacks ahead
Assembling a breakfast or snack ahead of time can help you eat well while keeping your morning
routine efficient: overnight oats, homemade dips, egg muffins, or breakfast bowls are easy options
that can be made in batches and stored in the fridge for a quick bite.
How to use the Meal Planner
The Meal Planner tool on the Kidney Community Kitchen website is easy to use. The Meal Planner User
Instructions and this video walk you through how to navigate the meal planner. There are also many
recipes on the Kidney Community Kitchen website for you to explore!