Life can get super challenging between running a household and trying to prepare healthy meals for your family. Trying to feed finicky eaters, along with satisfying meals for the adults in the house can turn into a magic act. There are some things you can do to make everyone happy. Check out these 8 tips and tricks that can make it easier to make “healthy” nutrition a priority, no matter how busy your schedule gets.
8 HEALTHY COOKING HACKS FOR BUSY PARENTS
- Create a meal plan: This can be as simple as writing a grocery list or taking 30 minutes on a Sunday night to think about meals for the upcoming week. If everyone is running around to practice on Tuesday, then that’s not the evening for an elaborate dinner. A quick bowl of tortellini, an easy-to-cook frozen meal or a grilled cheese might be your best bet. Getting a sense of how meals will fit in the week ahead can help to eliminate stressful cooking.
- Chop up all your fruits & veggies at the same time: When you have a minute over the weekend, or sometime during the day, start chopping. Having your produce ready to go can eliminated quite a few minutes from your meal prepping time. Once all your vegetables and fruits are cut up into smaller pieces, just throw them into bags or containers and store them until you need them. You can also make snack sized pieces that are ready to be grabbed from the fridge and eaten on the go.
- Roasted vegetables are your friend: Roasted vegetables are super easy to make and can be served hot with dinner or stored in the fridge for the next meal. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, beets and squash are all easy to roast and rich in nutrients. Just place in a baking dish, splash with olive oil and salt and bake them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes or until they’re tender.
- Skip the entree:Tired of making dinner? Serve up a bunch of appetizers instead. A sure to please dinner: Place a variety of cheese slices with crackers or baguette; deli meat slices, pre-cooked shrimp, olives, mixed nuts, dried fruit, sliced fruits and veggies onto a tray. There’s something for everyone!. For fun: Using mini kabob sticks, place a chunk of cheese, a piece of black forest ham or smoked turkey rolled into a bite-size piece,, along with a cherry tomato on the skewer and repeat. These are fun and easy ways to feed the family.
- Choose quinoa over rice: Quinoa cooks faster than most rice dishes. Plus, quinoa is a great protein option that goes with pretty much anything you’re serving. Not to mention, it’s a perfect gluten-free dish.
- Energy rich snacks, ready to go: When the urge to snack strikes, most of us go for the carbs. But, they only satisfy short term, followed by a crash. However, if you add a protein, that energy from the carbs is released over a longer period of time. Try a banana or apple and peanut butter, and you’ll find yourself recharged. Or in a bowl, mix peanut butter, honey, rolled oats and flax seeds. Using a paring knife, remove the core of the apple. Stuff the hole with the peanut butter mixture, then cut the apples cross-wise into rings.
- Throw it in a smoothie: When in doubt make a smoothie. You can pack nutrition into a smoothie and it will still taste delicious. Try adding: Almond milk, Kefir, 1 banana, frozen berries, a handful of spinach, and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Throw in a Tespo multivitamin shot to cover your bases. Here’s the recipe.
- Cook food that you can store: If you know your week is going to be busy, make pasta over the weekend and store it in airtight container in the fridge. When you need it, boil more water and reheat the precooked pasta for about two minutes. Serve the pasta for dinner or throw it into thermoses for lunch. You can also make chicken or ground beef ahead of time to serve with the pasta.
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