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Delicious, healthy & fresh meals
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Our Meal Planning Criteria

Content of a typical week

  • 1 vegetarian meal - fast and easy
  • 1 slow cooker meal
  • 1 "try something new and interesting" meal (not necessarily "fast and easy")
  • 4 "Fast and Easy" meals
"Fast and Easy" =
  1. Minimize total meal ingredients, no more than 10, less is better
  2. Can be prepared in 30 minutes or less
  3. Can be prepared with basic cooking skills and equipment
General guidelines
  • Recipes and meals are reasonably "mainstream" -- Items that most people would recognize and be willing to eat
  • Avoid specialty ingredients that are only used in 1 recipe and then go to waste
  • Avoid unique, brand name ingredients that may not be broadly available
  • Use "processed" ingredients judiciously
  • Try to pick a theme ingredient that will be used multiple times throughout the week -- for example, a bag of spinach leaves that is used in 3 meals
  • Match meals to season -- for example, include "in season" vegetables that are available in most regions; emphasize warm hearty soups in fall, outdoor cooking in summer
  • Most meals should be a main dish and a side item -- "Single Dish" meals are great
  • Aim to keep total cost of meals reasonably low
  • Frozen and canned vegetables are completely acceptable
  • Provide a variety of meats, vegetables, fruit & starches in a given week
  • Include at least 1 seafood meal
Nutrition guidelines for each meal
  • Generally follow USDA recommendations
  • About 500-700 calories
  • Less than 30% total fat
  • Less than 10% Saturated Fat
  • Less than 750 mg Sodium (about 1/3 of daily recommended limit of 2300 mg)
  • Less than 100 mg Cholesterol (about 1/3 of daily recommended limit of 300 mg)
  • Emphasize whole grain choices, at least half of total grains
  • Nutrition Density score of at least 75
  • Avoid excessive % of carbs -- aim for less than 50%
  • Try to follow "MyPlate" distribution of protein, starch, fruit/vegetables and dairy.

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