Meal Planning 101

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Meal Planning 101
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Learn how to become a meal-planning pro with our best tips and ideas from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.
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The Only Formula You Need to Pack Cheap Healthy Lunches for Work

Bento lunch boxes have always been my go-to method for packing lunches for my girls. And lately I've been using the bento method to pack healthy lunches for work too. Not only are they quick, but bento lunches have also helped to streamline my meal-prep process—something I'll take more of any morning! The dietitian side of me also loves that the packing process helps me ensure that the lunches include options from several food groups. Another plus: packing bento boxes for my husband and myself is cheaper than eating lunch out every day.

Pack Lunch for You and the Kids in Half the Time with These Meal-Prep Tips

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I overheard a mom at the playground tell friends how she'd prepped weekly lunches for the whole family for the first time. She remarked how nice it was to have prepared lunches ready to send with her child to preschool and for she and her husband to take to work. I couldn't agree more! Starting the week off with prepared meals makes it so much easier to eat healthy all week—not to mention avoiding more morning chaos getting ready.

The Only Formula You Need to Pack a Healthy Bento Box Lunch for Kids

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More than five years of packing lunches quickly teaches you survival-of-the-fittest methods. I've learned how to create a healthy bento box lunch for my kids that they'll actually eat (and get them out the door before missing carpool or the bus). For me, it's important to pack foods with a variety of nutrients, textures and flavors. But it can't just be healthy—my girls are selective about the foods they eat and I want them to look forward to lunch.

This Prep-Ahead Kids Lunch Station Will Keep You Sane for Back-to-School

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I enjoy the morning ritual of packing healthy lunches and snacks for my kids to bring to school when I'm not in a hurry. But most days, packing lunch is just one more task I need to check off before we all rush out the door. It takes time, energy and money to plan out kids' meals and to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need. And it's a real bummer—and a waste of food and dollars—when lunches come home half-eaten.