We continue to monitor COVID-19, flu and other respiratory viruses in our communities. Read the most current information about prevention, testing and where to go if you're sick.

COVID-19 Information
spice jars with text

6 Steps to Meal Planning Success

Being prepared for healthy home cooking is the key to your success. Stock up on healthy shelf-stable items for your pantry, plan out your grocery list and enjoy heart-healthy and flavorful meals.

Step 1: Take Stock

Check your pantry and fridge for staples you have on hand and like as well as items that need to be used. Make a grocery list of remaining items you need!

Pack Your Pantry

Pantry staples like beans, canned meats and low-sodium spices help bring variety and flavor to your weekly meal plan!

Canned foods: canned meats, pasta sauces, salsa

Grains and beans: quinoa, brown rice, oats, couscous, whole grain pasta, quick cooking barley, yellow cornmeal, panko breadcrumbs, dried lentils, canned beans (no salt added)

Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, cashews, pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, peanut or almond butter

Spices, seasonings and flavor boosters: canned tomatoes, low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, fish sauce, olives, dried onions, garlic, honey

Oils and vinegars: red wine, balsamic, and rice wine vinegar. extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, sesame oil

Step 2: Map Your Meals

Map out your meals - outline meals to use for the week and use it as your guide. It can be helpful to have a theme for each day (Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Leftovers Wednesday, Crockpot  Thursday, etc.). 

Plan for Freshness

Get the most from your fresh food items by eating them within a window of peak freshness! 
Follow our quick guide below: 

2 Days: fish, ground meat, raspberries, fresh peas, avocado, corn, tomatoes

5 Days: fresh beef, lamb or pork. greens, asparagus, green beans, eggplant, banana, summer squash, mango, pineapples, apricots, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, broccoli, fennel, basil, dill, radish

1 Week: plums, peaches, hot peppers, cauliflower, pear, melon, brussel sprouts, cucumber, leeks, cilantro, mint

1 Week +: fresh eggs (refrigerated), apples, bell peppers, onion, citrus, pomegranate, beet, celery, sweet potato, carrot, cabbage, winter squash, rosemary, oregano

Weekly Meal Plan


Step 3: Focus on Fresh

Incorporate fresh fruits and a variety of veggies! Look for new recipes and vary your favorite fruits and vegetables throughout the week to hit all of your food groups throughout each day! As the seasons change, be on the lookout for seasonal items at their peak! 

Step 4: Pack in Protein 

Tired of chicken? Mix up your protein sources—beans or tofu for a meatless meal, chicken the 
next day, and round out the week with beef and fish to create variety in your meals! 

Step 5: Love Your Leftovers

Make a plan for leftovers! Grilled chicken breast can be sliced and top a salad, leftover meat and vegetables can become the base for a soup or rice bowl. Leftovers can be great for busy days!

Step 6: Plan Ahead

Consider devoting a couple of hours on a weekend or evening to cook and prepare ingredients for meals for the week. This can include healthy snacks like grapes or celery sticks. 


See your hard work come together when you start to plate your meals! Personalize the USDA’s MyPlate to balance your plate and portions to match your dietary needs. 

Visualize Your Plate

Your largest portions should be vegetables and healthy grains with the remainder of your plate filled with fruit and protein.

  • Make half your plate whole fruits and a variety of vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains portion whole-grains.
  • Think of your proteins differently. Incorporate more fish and beans into your meals.

Build the Right Mix

  • Focus on variety of ingredients, portion size and nutritional value of each item on your plate.
  • Choose foods and drinks with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Aim to include veggies, dairy, protein, fruit and grains throughout your day to cover all 5 food groups.

Start Small

Create an eating style that can improve your health now and in the future by making small changes over time. Start by focusing on increasing your vegetables at one meal a day, or switching to whole-grain bread.

Make It Work For You

Use the tools available on the USDA Choose MyPlate website to explore different plans-and plates-for a variety of dietary needs. These resources can help you determine the portion sizes that work best for your age, weight and activity level.

To make an appointment with a dietitian at Missouri Baptist, call 314-996-5170.

Download this guide: Prep Plan Plate Handout

Related Content

Contact information

To schedule an appointment with a dietitian at MoBap, call 314-996-4987. Appointments are available at flexible times, Monday through Friday.

Appointments are also available on Tuesdays at the Missouri Baptist Outpatient Center Sunset Hills, 3844 South Lindbergh Boulevard.

Find a Doctor or Make an Appointment

Our new search tool will help you choose a doctor or health care provider that is best for you or your family.

Search Now

Don't feel guilty about indulging in this casserole, with only 27 grams of carbohydrates, you have room for another carbohydrate choice.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Don't feel guilty about indulging in this casserole, with only 27 grams of carbohydrates, you have room for another carbohydrate choice. Add a little kick by trying 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper in your recipe. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Thyme-Roasted Radishes and Carrots

Roasting radishes caramelizes their natural sugars for a mellow sweetness reminiscent of a potato and turnip combined.  Delicious and beautiful combined with baby carrots – a great way to welcome spring!

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Mason Jar Cobb Salad

Prepare a delicious, nutritious lunch in advance that is easy-to-pack and can hold in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Root Vegetable Hash

Root veggies provide needed carbs and starch, making them a great replacement to grains.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right
Ingredients for our mushroom, barley soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

This recipe is packed with nutrients lowering cholesterol, fighting infections, and boosting the immune system. Consider this soup recipe over the classic chicken noodle when fighting an illness.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Living a Healthy Life: One Woman’s Journey Back to Health

Like many people, Ginger had let her health slip in priority over the years. But high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat gave her the motivation to start the journey back to good health. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Rise and Shine with Breakfast

Bored with your bowl of oatmeal? Tired of your toast and jam? Ready to step outside the (cereal) box for breakfast? Switch it up with these creative combos that are easy-to-make and will keep you shining all morning long!

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Modern Italian Meatballs

A modern twist on the traditional meatball. Lean ground turkey reduces the fat and sodium to be more heart healthy.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

These decadent truffles are made with a just a handful of ingredients, including dark chocolate, vanilla and … creamy avocado! Avocados are rich in healthy plant-based fats and replace the traditional butter in this recipe.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Stir-fried Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower takes the place of rice to help increase your vegetable intake and cut starches. Enjoy this delicious, one-dish meal.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Hearty Veggie Grain Bowl

Making changes for a healthier you? Take the first step with this hearty meal.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Orange Cranberry Olive Oil Muffins

Olive oil contributes heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acid and the white whole wheat flour and cornmeal are whole grain flours, contributing extra fiber to the recipe.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Garlic Shrimp Zoodles

Kids love to spiralize things, and this is a fun way to get them involved in cooking.  At the dinner table you can even have a contest to see who can find the longest zoodle.  It also comes together in a short time for a quick meal. You can switch out  the shrimp for chicken or even edamame for a plant-based version.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Apple Curry Quinoa Salad

With crisp Granny Smith apples and whole grain quinoa, this salad features a wealth of textures and flavors that will liven up your fall table.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Your Coach. Your Advocate.

Look to our dietitians to provide the one-on-one nutrition coaching you need in a non-judgmental, comfortable environment.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Healthy Eating Habits for the Grocery Store

What better place to start making healthier choices than in the grocery store?

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Mini turkey meatloaves

Easy to pack up and go, these hearty, healthy mini meatloaves are perfect for dinner parties or satisfying the whole family.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Energy Bites

Packed with protein and fiber, these easy snacks give you the energy boost you need to finish the day strong.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Carbs or Calories?

When dieting, which is better to use as a caloric intake model: carbs or calories? Does one offer faster weight loss over the other?

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Tomatillo Salsa

With high fiber, unique antioxidant mix and vitamins C and A, "husk tomatoes" bring the flavor of Mexico to your table with this spicy Salsa Verde.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Salmon Quinoa Cakes

With Omega-3 fatty acids from the fish and whole grains from the Quinoa, this recipe is a heart-healthy superstar. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

5 Tips for a Terrific Salad

Creating a healthy salad that you want to eat takes a bit more planning than just throwing everything together and hoping for the best. Here are 5 steps to building a satisfying salad.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Banana Whip

Whip up this delicious and nutritious treat on a warm afternoon. It's so good they won't even know it's not ice cream.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Sweet Potato Risotto

Try this hearty Sweet Potato Risotto for a vegetarian holiday treat.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Watermelon Tomato Salad

Summer is the perfect time for fresh watermelon and tomatoes. What better way is there to enjoy these delicacies than to combine them in a salad? 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Homemade Granola

With quinoa and pumpkin seeds, this granola packs a protein punch along with several important micronutrients.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Banana Blueberry Blender Muffins

With nutritious ingredients like whole-wheat flour, flax seeds and non-fat Greek yogurt, these muffins are as good for you as they taste.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Strawberries & Cream Overnight Oats

Perfect for the human-on-the-go, this recipe takes just minutes to prepare and is a sure way to set you up for success. With protein, fiber and fat, this easy recipe provides the nutrients you need to energize your morning.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Soup is an excellent prep ahead meal to have on hand. Blended soups like this one are an excellent way to increase vegetable consumption.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Tour the Grocery Store with Missouri Baptist

Let our dietitians lead you on a personalized trip down the aisles of your local Dierbergs grocery store. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Savory Granola

Great for an on-the-go snack, this recipe combines everyday ingredients that can be found in your cupboards and provides great nutritional value with only 2 g saturated fat.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Pumpkin: Not Just For Holiday Pies.

Pumpkin is too good for you (and too tasty, as well!) to limit to holiday pies.  Try it combined with fruit and spice for a tasty breakfast-to-go.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Ways with Water

Are you drinking enough water?

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Red, White and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

Celebrate the summer with these refreshing stuffed strawberries. Perfect for a July Fourth celebration.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

This timeless dessert recipe doesn't have to only be for special occasions. Treat yourself without feeling the guilt of a full slice.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Green Superfood Salad

Tap into the power of green with this nutrient-dense dish full of plant based protein, quality fats to support hormones, and lots of antioxidants and fiber to promote health and longevity.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Pulled Jackfruit Arepas

Jackfruit is a versatile fruit that, because of its meaty, stringy texture, can be used as a meat substitution. We pair it with arepas to create a Latin twist on the traditional pulled pork sandwich.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Chopped Peanut Salad

With tofu croutons and chopped peanuts, this Asian-inspired chopped salad packs a nutritional punch with 16 g of protein and only 257 calories.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

The Right Nutrients to Help You Heal

Despite public focus on the rising obesity problem in the United States, malnourishment remains a common but little-known concern for many hospitalized patients. Malnutrition can lead to negative outcomes such as higher infection rates, poor wound healing, and up to three times longer lengths of stay.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Butternut Squash Soup

Soup is an excellent prep ahead meal to have on hand. Blended soups like this one are an excellent way to increase vegetable consumption.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Cherry Granita

Enjoy this frozen treat that requires no special equipment like molds or an ice cream maker.  Cherries are high in antioxidants and the kombucha adds a punch of probiotics for gut health.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Beets and Couscous with Seared Chicken

Don't miss a beet! Take advantage of this antioxidant-packed recipe.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Eat Right for You, and Baby, too!

When you're pregnant, eating right is important for you and your developing baby.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Gestational Diabetes

If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, let our team of experts assist you in promoting a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right
spice jars with text

6 Steps to Meal Planning Success

Being prepared for healthy home cooking is the key to your success. Stock up on healthy shelf-stable items for your pantry, plan out your grocery list and enjoy heart-healthy and flavorful meals.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Cuban Black Bean Chili

Try this delicious plant-based version of a familiar favorite. Like most chilis it tastes better the second or third day after the flavors have had a chance to blend.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Love Those Legumes!

Research tells us that legumes—beans, peas, and lentils—not only help fight heart disease by improving blood cholesterol levels, but also help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, and may even promote a healthier brain.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

A Better Breakfast

Layer your favorite grains, vegetables and greens in a bowl for a heart-healthy and hearty breakfast!

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Fermented Dilly Carrot Sticks

Fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics that support gut health.  Carrots are an easy first vegetable to try fermenting at home and are appealing to kids. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Peach Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients filled with protein and fiber. This recipe makes a nutrient dense, guilt free snack for any occasion.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right