Best Ways to Kick Off the New Year


I’m always ready for the new year by the time December comes to a close. While I usually set a resolution or two each year, this year, I decided to stay away from setting specific resolutions and instead focus on improving my day-to-day habits and kick off with a healthy new year meal plan.

With more time spent at home during 2020, snacking on my kid’s snacks and opting for meals that I considered to fall in the comfort-food realm appeared in my routine more often than I would like to admit. It’s easy to grab a handful of goldfish when pouring some for my girls or dumping a bunch of ingredients (usually cream-based) into a crockpot and turning it on so I didn’t have to think about dinner. Honestly, it felt like I spent more time in my kitchen in the last year, than I ever have in my whole life. Was it just me or did it feel like the dishes were never done?

Anyway, now that we have started a new year, I wanted to focus on how to improve small habits, instead of setting some lofty goal and not achieving it. So, one of the goals I set out to improve upon is spending more time prepping healthy snacks and meals, so there is always something nourishing to reach for.

To do this, I turn to my trusty friend, The Stem Blog. The Stem Blog is just an extension of what Stemilt and many in the produce industry are striving to do: promote healthy, wholesome snack and meal ideas. As a mom of two, I try to stay balanced and choose a lifestyle that keeps me sane but also teaches my kids how to eat right. Cheese and crackers, some apple slices (their favorite are SweeTango® apples) and a dollop of peanut butter is a balanced snack that I feel good about feeding my kids, without feeling like I spent hours in the kitchen.

To help both my family and me, I have turned to the following three resources that are available on to help me improve my day to day habits of prepping fresh and wholesome meals and snacks. I hope you like them just as much as I do!

Five Day Meal Plan – I love this one because it takes the stress out of the planning and prepping and provides you with an easy-to-use meal plan and shopping list. It includes a 5-day meal plan, 15 weekday recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a shopping list broken down by category. I love these kinds of guides because you can stick to them as much or a little as you would like, alter ingredients to fit your needs, and store them away for another day’s use!

Healthy New Year Meal Plan + Shopping List – This includes the same resources as the Five Day Meal Plan, however, it also includes three bonus snack/dessert options AND all of the meals included are 6 ingredients or less. Any meal with less than 6 ingredients is a winner in my book.

Quick Apple Snack Recipes – If you like simple and quick snack ideas, you will like these apple snack recipes. All of these snack recipes are healthy and ideal for when you are on the go. From energy bites to oatmeal cups and breakfast cookies, there is something in here for everyone.