Life is hectic! Meal planning, shopping, cooking and even finding time to eat together can be challenging. We worry or feel guilty if we don’t provide all the food groups, or if our children won’t eat them, never have time to read the food labels when shopping (although we wish we did), and would love to eat together but often don’t.
Here’s a few tips to help make it a little easier.
- The #1 key to making life easier is planning. Through planning you can develop a system that makes purchasing, preparing and participating easier. Here’s a link to a review of seven online meal and menu planning tools that might help: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-online-meal-and-menu-planning-tools-169221
- Consider on-line shopping and food delivery, there are plenty of providers, including ‘organic’. (Active Organix can be picked up weekly at Oak Learners!)
- Keep it Simple! There’s no need to invent new recipes. I find pinterest.com a lifesaver – a few of my favourite searches are:
–one pot wonders (reducing the clean-up is a definite plus)
–slow cooker recipes (giving me loads of ideas for hiding vegetables for my picky eater)
–healthy smoothies (my breakfast and snack life-savers, I keep one in a cooler for my Son at pick up time)
- Consider preparing ‘freezer meals’ – there are loads of ideas on Pinterest or Google
- Consider partially prepared starters – I love mitchellssoupco.com
- Have healthy, nutritious food on hand in your car to keep the hunger and temptation to dive into a drive at bay until meal time.
- Prepare doubles batches of food when you are less rushed so you can cook once and eat twice.
- Be kind to yourself. The family meal doesn’t have to be ‘dinner’, breakfast or lunch may work better sometimes.
- Be flexible. A family meal doesn’t have to be at the ‘table’, spending time together and eating healthy nutritious food can happen anywhere.
- Eating out, or take-out can be nutritious, healthy and so much easier, just make healthy choices that satisfy a a balance of the four basic food groups.
What are your go-to healthy meal ideas for your family?
Written by Leigh Meadows, Director at Oak Learners.