Phase 3: Food Preparation Guidelines

By now you should be a whiz in the kitchen. When you grocery shop, you know the proper choices to make. You rely on what you have learned in the program and can make healthy meal choices for your family. But now it is time to take it one step further and get organized. You can make grocery lists that will get you in and out of the store in a jiffy. The meals you prepare will be wholesome, nutritious and delicious. It is all with just a small amount of planning on your part and taking advantage of items already on hand to save you time and money. It is also the time to get creative in the kitchen. So put on your aprons and let’s get started!


Menu Planning

  • Use what you have: One of the easiest ways to save money and not be wasteful is to use what you already have on hand. Before heading to the store, check your freezer, refrigerator, pantry and shelves.
  • In and Out! Think of the grocery store as a horseshoe. The food sections that you want to shop are usually the outer edges of the market – like the produce, dairy, meat and seafood sections. Most of the processed food is found down the aisles. You can make for a quick shopping trip if you stick to this rule!
  • Shop the sales: If you can, check several stores to see where you find the biggest savings. Stock up on products that are on sale that you will use. Clip coupons and watch for buy one get one free offers.
  • Plan your meals wisely: Plan your meals for a week (or two) in advance by using ingredients you have on hand and what you’ve purchased. Thinking about the order of your recipes will allow you to use leftovers more efficiently and will reduce your stress on busy days.
  • Create a go-to list of simple and quick meals that you’re a pro at preparing. By knowing a few recipes you can always rely on, you’ll avoid the desperate trip through the drive-thru or frantically trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Create you own cookbook with copies or tear-outs of favorite recipes.
  • Let your kids pick some of the ingredients: Even if they’re not your favorite or unhealthy, you only have to use a little. They’ll like that they contributed and might be more inclined to try something new or healthy if there’s something in it for them.
  • Try new things! Do not be afraid to try new and exciting recipes. You may even find your new favorite meal.

Building Your Pantry

The following is a list of dry goods or staples you might want to have on hand as you begin trying the new family recipes. Some might already be staples at your kitchen. Building the items in your pantry is a good way to eliminate trips to the grocery store every time you cook. You don’t need to buy everything at once, just what you think you will eat often. Start building your pantry gradually. These are food staples that can be added to numerous recipes and will be useful in cooking many of the recipes found in your “Fresh from Florida Kids Rooted for Life” notebook.

Olive oil Spices:
All-purpose flour Paprika
Cloves of garlic Cinnamon
Vanilla extract Cumin
White wine vinegar Italian herb seasoning
Cooking spray Oregano
Balsamic vinegar Nutmeg
Rice Thyme
Bread crumbs Garlic powder
Tomato sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Egg noodles
Cans of mushrooms
Orange marmalade
Chicken broth
Vegetable broth

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