Meal time is a very important part of our lives. It is a great time to talk, discuss everyone’s day, and connect as a family. However, whether you work full-time, stay at home or fall somewhere in between, ensuring that your family gets quality meal time can be a challenge. When it comes to providing your family with healthy meals, planning is key.
- Pick a day of the week to do your planning. You shouldn’t need more than an hour uninterrupted and you will become more efficient with practice.
- Use cookbooks for ideas, along with websites like www.allrecipes.com and www.epicurious.com that have thousands of free recipes.
- Use a full menu planner to cover all meals and snacks - not just dinner. This will ensure that you create a complete grocery list, which will minimize store runs and ultimately save money by eating out less.
- As you choose recipes, add the ingredients to your grocery list. I encourage families to incorporate a lot of fresh ingredients in their meals and limit processed items. Get a good mix of recipes and ingredients so you don’t get bored.
- Working parents in particular find it useful to do all their cooking on one day (or bulk cook).
- Schedule your grocery shopping trip so that you cook no more than one day later. You want your ingredients to be as fresh as possible. You can then freeze meals, and you do not have to worry about cooking for the remainder of the week.
- Even if not always possible, try to include the entire family when cooking. Parents set a great example when cooking as a family. You may not realize it, but you are teaching your children how to cook and to be self-sufficient. Furthermore, children become more open to trying new foods and eating vegetables when they are involved in the process.
Eventually, you will be saving money, time and providing your family with delicious healthy meals.
Check out Southwest Houston Macaroni Kid for the full article.
Download meal planner here.
Download custom grocery list here.