Time-saving cooking tips for healthy meals

Only 1/3 of Canadians plan meals, according to Health Canada, but meal planning can help you and your family enjoy eating healthy, delicious meals while saving you time and money. 

Here are five easy steps to help you meal plan:  

  1. Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards for foods you have. 
  2. Scan grocery flyers to find healthier foods on sale. 
  3. Ask your family for meal ideas. Cover all four food groups. 
  4. Write down your meal and snack ideas. 
  5. Make a grocery list and go shopping. 

Eating healthy can be much easier and fun if you adopt some simple habits. Here are some time-saving tips to help you get healthy meals on the table.  

  1. Chop extra fruit and vegetables when preparing meals so you have extra for lunches, snacks, and meals the next day. 
  2. Buy pre-cut vegetables such as broccoli, squash, and mushrooms. 
  3. Choose lower-sodium convenience foods to help speed up prep time. Try canned or bottled tomato-based pasta sauces, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit, canned tuna or salmon, and canned beans or lentils. 
  4. Cook on the weekend. Make-then freeze-meals for the upcoming week like soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes, and chili. These will come in handy on busy weeknights. 
  5. Cook twice the chicken or ground beef you need and keep extras in the fridge to make chicken salad, enchiladas, chili, or spaghetti sauce the next day. 
  6. Ask the kids to help. By involving children in preparing food, they’ll appreciate meals more and learn important life skills. Depending on their age, kids can wash and peel vegetables, tear up lettuce, mash potatoes, wash and cut fruit, drain and rinse canned beans or lentils, and stir a pot. 
  7. Invest in time-saving appliances. A slow cooker is a great way to come home to a warm meal. A hand blender can help you make quick and easy soups, sauces, and smoothies. Use a mini-chopper to dice up garlic and onions. 

For more ideas visit 

HCALM-Network seeking submissions for research projects, papers  

The Health Care Access for Linguistic Minorities Network (HCALM Network), an interdisciplinary, interinstitutional community of researchers seeking to understand patient-practitioner communication and its impact on the delivery of healthcare and social services, has launched a call for papers and proposals for research projects.  

Administered by the McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project which aims to make health and social services more accessible to English-speaking Quebecers, the HCALM-Network investigates communication between patients and health professionals and how the use of a second language by the professional poses a potential language barrier that may compromise equitable access to health care. 

The HCALM Network is currently accepting research projects that focus on investigating the relationship between language and access to healthcare or social services and is also seeking submissions for its 2017 annual conference on the topic of “Language and Health – Ethical and Policy Issues.” The deadline for submissions for both projects is April 9, 2017. 

Details are posted online at 

For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, keep reading this weekly Keeping in Touch column in The Record and visit us on Twitter @Townshippers,, and our website Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717 or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421. 

Published: Keeping in Touch column, Sherbrooke Record, Wednesday, March 28, 2017 

Photo Credit: Courtesy Katie Smith 

Photo Caption: Meal planning can help you and your family to eat healthy, which is good for the waistline, but only 1/3 of Canadians currently plan their meals. Health Canada has some tips to help make it even easier to eat healthy.  

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