Cooking for One or Two – Planning Healthy Meals
Food can help keep you strong and lively,
prevent illness and provide a good social
connection with friends or family. Don’t
settle for take-out or frozen dinners for
every meal. You can create healthy meals at
home with a little planning.
Your body will benefit from the many types
of nutrients from different foods. Choose
many colors and kinds of fruit and vegetable
each week. Eat fresh and frozen foods more
often than canned and boxed foods to get the
best nutrition and least processed food at
ξ Try favorite recipes given to you by
friends or family.
ξ Plan at least 3-4 meals each week,
leaving room for flexibility and
ξ Prepare extra food for leftovers or to
freeze for a later meal.
ξ Keep a notebook or online list of
recipes and revisit this list for ideas.
ξ Keep things simple. A healthy meal
doesn’t have to take hours to
Monday: Baked chicken, sweet potatoes
and green beans
Tuesday: Pasta with vegetable marinara
and tossed salad
Wednesday: Leftover chicken turns into
chicken salad sandwiches and a fruit
Thursday: Lentil and vegetable soup
with fresh fruit salad
Friday: Broiled fish, wild rice pilaf and
mixed greens salad
Saturday: Tostadas with corn tortillas,
beans, lettuce and tomato and a side
of roasted cauliflower
Sunday: Pork tenderloin with roasted
ξ Check the ingredients you have in
your fridge, pantry and freezer.
Make a shopping list of the items
you need to make the meals for the
ξ Shop the outer area of the grocery
store to find fruits, vegetables, low
fat dairy and lean proteins. Limit the
items you buy from the center aisles
where there is a lot of junk food.
ξ Choose whole foods with little
processing and few additives. Use
herbs and spices to add flavor.
ξ Check “weekly specials.” Are they
foods you will enjoy and fit into your
ξ Keep the pantry, fridge and freezer
neat. Proper storage saves money
ξ Put new items in back, so older items
are used first.
ξ Put fresh foods in their place right
ξ Use frozen veggies to enhance a
main entrée and add nutrition.
ξ Freeze extra 100% whole grain
waffles or pancakes and reheat in
ξ Cut up fresh veggies and store in the
fridge for quick snacks.
ξ Add grated apples or carrots to give
color to salads.
ξ Sort your groceries by what you will
need for each recipe.
ξ Peel and chop vegetables to eat
throughout the week.
ξ Thaw protein foods (meat, poultry or
fish) in the fridge 2-3 days in
ξ If using the oven, bake a few items at
one time. Prepare extra to use for
later in the week or freeze the extra
ξ Eat at the table. Use placemats or a
tablecloth to create a calming
ξ Invite someone to share a meal with
ξ Take time to enjoy the food you’ve
ξ www.thescramble.com – Meal
planning tips and recipes
ξ www.relish.com – Meal planning
tips and recipes
ξ www.eatingwell.com – Click
Healthy Cooking, then click Cooking
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the
phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#172