When was the last time you enjoyed a family meal without worrying about how much or little of something you were eating? A healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation, but moderation — and that’s good news for everyone. With a meal plan, keeping track of your calories becomes far less complicated, allowing you to sit back and focus on the important things: spending time with family and friends.

Here are some tips that will let you get back to what matters most—your family.

Breakfast should be healthy every day.
Mind, body, and soul – this is the perfect time to bring these three together for a healthy breakfast. You can start your morning off right with a meal that gives you the nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Skipping breakfast has been shown to cause higher hunger levels in the afternoon, leaving you feeling more tired and uneasy than if you had eaten the right breakfast. This is definitely not the way to gain an afternoon energy boost!

Simple rules are the best place to start.
In his book, Tim Ferriss details strategies to eat healthier and more efficiently. The first step is to drink a glass of water with every meal. When he says “meal,” though, he means a protein, vegetable, and starch — not three slices of pizza! After that, follow with a glass of water before eating anything else. Finally, try to avoid drinking calories, like soda or juice or milk.

Prepare your meals in advance.
This is a great idea for families and parents who want to save money, eat well, and plan healthy meals. Use your refrigerator as a “piggy bank” and make meal planning more efficient. If you’re not sure what meals to make, try some of the recipes listed in green — they have all been tried and tested by my family and friends, so you can be assured that they are delicious!

The fresher the better.
When you’re looking for fruits and veggies, there are two places you can go: the local supermarket, or a farmer’s market. If you have time to spare in your busy schedule, the supermarket is fine — but sometimes, we just want to save time, without sacrificing good products or quality. The best way to do that? Visit your local farmer’s market as soon as possible.

Eat out frequently if it is necessary.
Eating out is always a convenient option. It’s the fastest way to get food, and it gives you the opportunity to try out new restaurants and flavors. But can eating out be expensive? Maybe. If you’re living on a tight budget, eating out may not be an option for you.

Take time to eat as a family.
If you’re looking for ways to make your family’s meals more nutritious, the answer just might be dinner at the table together. Even if it’s fast food that everyone likes, having a meal together is important for building healthy eating habits in children and strengthening family relationships. How can you start? By adding more home-cooked meals to your weekly routine!

Put thought into what you eat.
No one can deny the truth that homemade food is the best kind of food. But if you’re running a busy schedule, finding time to shop and cook for yourself and your family can be difficult. That’s why meal-prep is so important — it gives you the peace of mind that your meals are taken care of in advance, leaving you days or even weeks open to do other things.

If you’re looking to improve your health and live a healthier lifestyle, we hope this tips article has helped. Remember to start changing your daily habits slowly, so that you can help secure lasting results for you and your family.

While healthy living can help a family’s bottom line, it doesn’t have to mean spending an arm and a leg. Doing your research before you shop can save you money by preventing wasteful purchases that end up in the trash. Plan out your meals ahead of time, eat them as a family, and if you’re going to splurge, consider investing in seasonable, local produce that’s on sale at the grocery store.

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