Meal planning can be fun for everyone


By Robin Young | PREVIEW Columnist

Winter nights are the perfect time to work together as a family to plan and prepare nutritious and easy meals. Meal planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Having everyone help can turn meal planning into a positive and enjoyable family activity.

Meal planning basics

Consider these six tips when planning meals:

• Weekly schedule. Have a family meeting to plan out the week’s schedule of events and activities.

• Use a meal-planning tool. You can use a simple notebook or a full-on planning tool that has prompts for each day of the week. You can choose to plan just evening meals or all meals and snacks. Take time at family meetings to let each person help in the process of planning meals. 

• Nutrition. When planning meals, include a variety of foods from each food group: Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread or oatmeal. Select lean proteins such as legumes, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds, fish, skinless chicken, or lean cuts of meat. Include a non-fat, low-fat or nondairy option.

• Create an inventory of food items and ingredients that you have in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator.

• Select recipes. By selecting recipes including the foods you already have, you can save money.

• Shopping list. Create a shopping list of items that will be needed to prepare the meals/recipes you choose. Planning helps save time, money and food from going to waste.

Finding recipes

Finding and creating family recipes can be a lot of fun. Connecting with can help you plan healthy meals on a budget.

As a young person, I enjoyed when my family would get together to plan meals. I carried this tradition forward to my children so that they helped plan our dinner meals. This activity helped my children learn to create healthy meals and many happy memories. When children have a say in meal planning, you honor their preferences and opinions. This positive, focused time can create future opportunities to have some difficult conversations while planning or cooking.

Upcoming events

April 24 — An evening discussion on the diverse perspectives of wolves in Colorado in Mancos. Details to be determined. 

April 28 —An evening discussion on climate and weather at 6 p.m. at the Extension office

April 29 — Viticulture Workshop Details to be determined. 

May 6 — Weed Warrior Program presentations from 9 a.m. to noon at the Extension building. The Weed Warrior Program will cover an introduction to noxious weeds, their control and how to be a steward in your community. Please RSVP with Ethan Proud at

Local Noxious Weed
Advisory Board

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is seeking to fill open positions on the Local Noxious Weed Advisory Board.

According to the Colorado Noxious Weed Act title 35 article 5.5, the local advisory board is appointed by the BoCC. Members will help update the Integrated Pest Management Plan at least every three years and voice suggestions to county staff for ultimate approval by the BoCC. 

If you are interested in a position, please see for eligibility and responsibilities. If you believe someone would be suited for the role, please nominate them for a position on the board using the form at

Applications and nominations will be accepted from March 6 to April 15.

Certified seed potato sale

Certified seed potato will be on sale for $2 per pound on May 10 and 11. This year we will not be taking orders; it is a first-come, first-served service. Please bring your own bag or box to take your seed home.