Food

Time to Eat

6 reasons to put your meals on a schedule

Oh, to have a personal chef. Just imagine: a healthy-yet-hearty breakfast prepared every morning, a gourmet lunch packed to go, and a hot dinner waiting for you nightly. More to the point, every wholesome meal and snack would ready for you at just the perfect moment: when you’re hungry but not ravenous.

OK, back to reality. Odds are that you won't be hiring a chef for your kitchen any time soon. To make matters worse, the 'chef' in your house, probably also has to juggle hectic family schedules, never-ending to-do lists, and long workdays. It's not the best setup when you're trying to consistently put healthy meals on the table. How often have you realized that it's 6 pm and you have no clue what to make for dinner? Unfortunately those occasions often result in greasy takeout orders that can tip you back into unhealthy eating habits.

But all is not lost. By planning your meals ahead of time and sticking to that schedule you can keep control of what you're eating - especially when life gets busy. Here are a few more reasons to build a daily meal menu.

  1. Your choices will be healthier.
    Since you won't be making spur-of-the-moment decisions when you're already hungry you can ensure what you're eating will fit your SmartPoints budget. Need ideas? Check out our 30-SmartPoints-a-Day Menu.
     
  2. You won't be thinking about food all the time. ,
    When it comes to hunger, we tend to be swayed by external triggers, not necessarily physical, internal triggers. It might seem counterintuitive, but scheduling meals helps keep your mind off food between meals and snacks because the decision of when and what to eat has already been made. So you’ll be ess likely to eat when you’re not really hungry.
     
  3. You won’t seesaw between “running on empty” and “too full.” 
    Research shows that going too long without eating can make us way too hungry, so that we overdo it when we finally do eat. If you’re having a meal or snack at least every four hours, your hunger and energy levels will remain more even and predictable throughout the day.
     
  4. It gives you structure. 
    Knowing when you'll be eating lets you arrange the rest of your day accordingly — so you benefit from a more orderly, controlled schedule all around. Having a solid meal schedule can also have a ripple effect, helping you stick to other healthy behaviours.
     
  5. You can save some cash. 
    Right off the bat you'll save money you'd normally spend on takeout and pre-packaged meals. Also, try planning your menus to take advantage of supermarket deals.
     
  6. It’s an opportunity to teach kids about healthy foods. Get them into the kitchen with you, prepping meals and learning to appreciate nutritious ingredients and delicious dishes. The more kids learn at home, the easier it will be for them to make smart food choices at school, at restaurants, and beyond.

Spoonfuls of Goodness
Fresh herbs and vegetables make our Spring Vegetable Soup with Orzo a tasty harbinger of longer, warmer days. It’s an easy and satisfying fare for just 2 SmartPointsTM per serving.