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Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips

By Secondchancesgirl
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveDoveFruits #CollectiveBias
I've set a lot of goals for myself in 2016 and one of those goals was to eat better. I wanted to make the effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my daily meals. I have been doing really well and my trick has been to meal plan. Meal planning helps me get organized and eat way better than I used to before. It's way easier to grab a prepared meal from the fridge than it is to get in my car and go to a drive-thru. One thing I thought I would miss would be a dessert, maybe not even a full dessert like cheesecake, but more like treats. I knew that if I didn't have a treat at least once a week, I would crumble so I decided that I would also include a weekly treat in my meal planning. Something easy and a better-for-you indulgence option like a parfait.
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
Doesn't that parfait look amazing? I have added this Strawberry and Cocoa Almond parfait into my Friday meals. It's a reward for really working on myself during the week. I got this idea from the new DOVE�® Chocolate Fruit & Nuts I found in the store! I used to always snack on DOVE® Dark Chocolate Cherries but I knew these new fruit and nut options would be even better for a parfait!
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaitserves 1
Ingredients:1 cup DOVE® Strawberry & Cocoa Almonds (these are actually strawberry flavored cranberries covered in dark chocolate with cocoa dusted almonds)1 cup granola6 tbsp vanilla yogurt
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
I used maple pecan granola (pictured below) but you can use any good quality granola that you like. 
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
If you want an easy treat, it really doesn't get any easier than a parfait. It's just 3 layers of yogurt, DOVE® chocolate fruit and nuts and granola. First, you add 2 tbs of vanilla yogurt to your cup, top with DOVE® chocolate fruit and nuts and then sprinkle granola on top.
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
Repeat this same layering sequence twice.
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
That's it. I mean a delicious treat that's ready in less than 5 minutes? I'm in. So perfect for Fridays!
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
I make these while I am working on Fridays since I work from home but I also pack it up for JC in a mason jar for him to take to work. Tell me that this doesn't look super amazing!!! I also love that the chocolate fruit are the classic cranberries that DOVE® is known for but with a strawberry flavor that adds some fun!
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
I found all these DOVE® Chocolate Fruit and Nut varieties at Walmart. DOVE® Chocolate Fruit & Nut combines the wellness benefits of dark chocolate with fruits and nuts while satisfying your craving for something sweet!
Strawberry & Cocoa Almond Parfaits + Meal Planning Tips
Meal planning has really worked wonders for us as a family. It has kept us organized, limited our dining out and kept us under budget. I'm not going to lie, it takes work but it's so worth it. Here are 5 tips to successful meal planning:
1. Be realistic. We meal plan for 4 days a week not one day more. We like eating out and sometimes I like to cook up something different so we set 4 days where we eat what we have prepared. 
2. Prepare a meal plan. I take one day during the week (usually while I wait in the dreaded car line) and I prepare a daily meal plan for 4 days. I plan for lunch and dinner and I stick to it. While I am grocery shopping, I only buy what is needed for those meals and various breakfasts.
3. Prepare on Sundays. I prepare 4 days of lunch and dinner for all of us on Sundays. First, I sit and figure out what everyone likes and then I get to work. For example, my family like ground turkey so I will purchase it in bulk (usually like 4 pounds) and make meatballs, turkey picadillo and empanadas. I make food I know they like and just take a few hours on Sundays and make everything. 
4. Eat perishables first. I make fresh fish and salads for earlier in the week. Pastas and rice last longer so those will be for days 3 and 4. 
5. Prepare snacks also. Snacks are the worst for us. If not prepared (fruit washed and cut, gelatin made, parfaits, etc) we will eat junk so I make sure I include those in the weekly planning also. 
My main reason for meal planning is that I hate to see food go to waste. I have loved the saving money aspect but I have also loved not having to throw away food that has gone bad because no one ate it. We've done well since 2016 began, hopefully, we can continue working to eat better as a family!

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