Healthy Living Menu Plan

Why every healthy grocery list should include apples

There are many healthy reasons for adding apples to your weekly shopping cart and incorporating them into your meals. Apples contain natural fiber and adequate fiber consumption has been consistently associated with weight loss.2 The fiber in apples provides a feeling of fullness and when you feel full you tend to eat less. Also, the soluble fiber pectin which is found in apples, slows the body’s release of glucose, preventing sudden drops in blood sugar that trigger hunger and can set off food cravings.

The new daily dietary value for fiber consumption is 28 grams. (This applies to adults and children over 4 years old). Unfortunately the average American consumes only 15 grams of fiber. With all of the positive health research linked to fiber it’s no wonder apples should hold a valued spot in your grocery cart. Eating just one apple a day, with the skin, will provide an average of 4.5 grams of fiber and a tennis ball-sized apple contains only about 80 calories!

Now that you know how and why to fill your cart with healthy choices that include apples, it’s time to build a delicious meal plan. Eating healthier does take a bit of planning but by spending an hour or so to create a weekly menu and shopping list you’ll save money and time in the long run. We’ll help you get started with our one week sample menu plan. The 1500 - 1600 approximate calorie level will help promote a slow and steady weight loss while keeping you satisfied with balanced meals.

1 Week Sample Menu Plan:

*Recipe or recipe link provided





  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 small chopped
  • 2 T. walnuts
  • 2 t. brown sugar
  • ½ cup fat free milk

380 Calories,12 g Fat,56 g Carbohydrate, 12g Protein

  • 1-1/2 cups lentil soup
  • 14 whole grain crackers
  • 1-1/2 oz. 2% cheese cubes
  • ½ cup grapes

532 Calories, 15g Fat, 79g Carbohydrate, 20g Protein


514 Calories, 17g Fat, 49g Carbohydrate, 43g Protein

  • 1 – 100 calorie bag popcorn
  • 1 oz. string cheese
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes

190 Calories, 10g Fat, 18g Carbohydrate, 7.5g Protein

  • 6 oz. vanilla low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small fresh apple diced with cinnamon (add to yogurt)
  • 1 packet breakfast biscuits (like Belvita)

411 Calories, 11.5g Fat, 56g Carbohydrate, 21g Protein


410 Calories, 12g Fat, 57g Carbohydrate, 18g Protein

  • 4 oz. lean hamburger on whole grain bun
  • Lettuce, tomato
  • 1 oz. baked potato chips
  • 1 cup baby carrots and cucumber slices

447 Calories, 12g Fat, 53g Carbohydrate, 31g Protein

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1-1/2 oz. 2% cheddar cheese

213 Calories, 9g Fat, 26g Carbohydrate, 11g Protein

  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 1 whole grain English muffin
  • 1 tsp. butter or spread
  • 2 clementines

435 Calories, 20.5g Fat, 47g Carbohydrate, 21g Protein

495 Calories, 13g Fat, 55g Carbohydrate, 26g Protein

456 Calories, 10g Fat, 72g Carbohydrate, 26g Protein

  • 1 apple, halved
  • 1 -1/2 T. peanut butter

188 Calories, 12g Fat, 17g Carbohydrate, 6g Protein

322 Calories, 6g Fat, 52 Carbohydrate, 14g Protein

  • 300-400 calorie healthy frozen meal (Luvo, Healthy Choice, Amy’s, Lean Cuisine)
  • Fresh Apple

448 Calories, 14g Fat, 60g Carbohydrate, 21g Protein

  • 5 oz. Rotisserie chicken breast, no skin
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato with 1 t. butter or spread
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt

552 Calories, 14g Fat, 51g Carbohydrate, 54g Protein

  • ¼ cup almonds and ¼ cup raisins
  • Sparkling water

315 Calories, 18g Fat, 35g Carbohydrate, 8.5g Protein

  • 1 whole grain English muffin
  • Topped with 2 T. peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce

373 Calories, 17.5g Fat, 41g Carbohydrate, 7g Protein

  • Baked potato, medium sized
  • Topped with ½ cup broccoli florets and ¼ cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fresh orange
  • 1 cup fat free milk

427 Calories, 6g Fat, 72g Carbohydrate, 22g Protein

  • 6 oz. grilled salmon fillet
  • ½ cup roasted red potatoes
  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 1 (3-inch) slice whole-grain baguette drizzled with 1 t. olive oil

568 Calories, 24g Fat, 49g Carbohydrate, 42g Protein

  •  Small apple slices dipped in ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt and ¼ cup low fat granola cereal


266 Calories, 2g Fat, 53g Carbohydrate, 13g Protein

  • 2 whole grain freezer waffles, toasted
  • 2 T. lite syrup
  • 1 small banana sliced
  • 1 cup low fat milk

414 Calories, 9g Fat, 74g Carbohydrate, 15g Protein

508 Calories, 18g Fat, 69g Carbohydrate, 17g Protein

488 Calories, 183g Fat, 54g Carbohydrate, 29g Protein

  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 2 cups veggie dippers

285 Calories, 18g Fat, 29g Carbohydrate, 8g Protein

423 Calories, 17g Fat, 64g Carbohydrate, 10g Protein

  • 1 whole-grain bagel thin with 3 oz. natural deli ham, 1 ounce 2% cheddar cheese, sliced tomato and spinach.
  • ½ cup seedless grapes
  • 1 cup fat free milk


535 Calories, 9g Fat, 76g Carbohydrates, 38g Protein

  • 1/3 cheese pizza with mushrooms, red pepper and onions
  • 2 cups green salad with 2 T. light balsamic dressing and ½ gala apple, diced

447 Calories, 23g Fat, 49g Carbohydrate, 13g Protein

  • 8 whole-grain crackers
  • 1 T. nut butter
  • 1 orange

235 Calories, 10.5g Fat, 31g Carbohydrate, 6.5g Protein


Turkey Hummus Wrap

Makes 1 serving
1 (10-inch) whole wheat tortilla
2 tablespoons hummus
3 slices low-sodium turkey
1 slice 2% Cheddar cheese, cut in half
¼ cup baby kale, loosely packed

  1. Lay tortilla on flat surface.
  2. Spread with hummus and top with turkey, cheese and greens. Roll up and sliced into 1-inch thick rounds.

Nutrition facts per serving: 313 Calories; 12g Fat; 34.5g Carbohydrate; 2g Fiber; 428mg Sodium; 16.5g Protein; 40mg Cholesterol
Source: Produce for Kids

Smart Tuna Apple Salad

Makes 2 (1 cup) servings

1 (6-ounce) can white meat tuna, packed in water
1 large stalk celery, minced
4 radishes, minced
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1/2 Michigan apple, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 to 4 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced California walnuts, lightly toasted

  1. Place the tuna in a bowl and flake with a fork.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Nutrition facts per serving: 250 Calories; 12g Fat; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Fiber; 160mg Sodium; 15g Protein; 25mg Cholesterol
Source: Created By Mollie Katzen - Chef and Author;

Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and Beans

Makes 6 servings

2 (14.5-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
10 ounces bag baby spinach
8 ounces whole grain or multi grain penne pasta
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente (do not overcook).
  2. While pasta cooks, combine tomatoes and beans in a large non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add spinach to the sauce; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.
  4. Add cooked pasta to sauce and heat through (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Sprinkle with feta and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 309 Calories; 4g Fat; 50g Carbohydrate; 9g Fiber; 470mg Sodium; 23g Protein; 11mg Cholesterol
Recipe adapted from:  Bush’s Beans

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup melted butter or spread, melted
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup low fat buttermilk
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1-1/2 cup diced Michigan Apple
1-3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Blend spread or butter, sugar and egg until smooth.
  3. Add buttermilk, salt, apples and mix well.
  4. Stir together flour, soda, cinnamon and add to buttermilk mixture. Mix until all ingredients are blended.
  5. Spoon into muffin pan coated with vegetable cooking spray or into paper muffin cups.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Nutrition facts per muffin: 174 Calories; 6g Fat; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Fiber; 141mg Sodium; 3.5g Protein; 194mg Cholesterol

Chicken Crunch Salad with Apples

Makes 4 servings

4 (3 ounce) chicken breasts
1 pkg. (10 ounce) salad greens
3 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
½ cup pistachios, chopped
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Michigan apple, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced

  1. Cook chicken on preheated medium-high grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden in color and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
  2. Toss salad, dressing, olives, pistachios, cheese, apple and cucumber in large mixing bowl. Top with sliced chicken.

Nutrition facts per serving: 457 Calories; 18g Fat; 56.6g Carbohydrate; 7.5g Fiber; 498mg Sodium; 16g Protein; 16mg Cholesterol
Source: Produce for Kids

Please consult your physician with any health-related concerns, including changing your diet or starting an exercise routine. Information found at is not intended to, and should not be used to, diagnose or treat any disease, and should never substitute for or replace your doctor's advice or care.


  1. Rolls BJ, Ello-Martin JA, Tohill BC. What can intervention studies tell us about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and weight management? Nutr Reviews 2004;62:1-17.
  2. Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Energy density of foods affects energy intake across multiple levels of fat content in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:1010-1018.
  3. Lin BH, Morrison BM. Higher fruit consumption linked with lower body mass index. Food Review 2002;25(3):28-32.


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