Eating right isn't just a matter of consistently making better choices for meals and snacks. In fact, I'd argue that it starts before that, with the food you buy. If your fridge and pantry are well-stocked, you're automatically ahead of the game. These are some guidelines I offered the Rebuccis (go to familycircle.com/healthyfamily2011 to learn more about them and our healthy family program).
By Regina Ragone
Plan out a complete menu for the coming week. True, it's not the most fun task, but this upfront work makes a huge difference. (It also gets significantly easier after a few rounds.) Start by pulling together some of your family's favorite healthy meals, or go to familycircle.com/healthyfamilydinners and browse our archive. While most people make chicken, fish, or meat the main part of the meal, a higher proportion of plant-based foods is better. This means the largest section of the plate (about half) should be filled with any type of non-starchy veggie such as broccoli, carrots, or salad. One-quarter should be a complex carbohydrate, such as brown rice or some other whole grain. The remaining 25 percent is reserved for a lean protein. Once you have everything figured out, write up a grocery list.