As summer winds down and kids go back to school, moms (and definitely some dads out there!) get into that back to school swing. Earlier mornings, car lines, after school homework and extracurricular activities mean busy schedules for everyone. While it could be really tempting to grab some fast food on the way home or call for a pizza, there are plenty of ways to make eating healthy easy for you and the whole family without being stressful or expensive. Today, we are going to go over a few ideas to make planning healthy meals as easy as possible!
1. Meal Planning
One of the easiest and most simple ways to stay on track with a healthy eating routine is start your week off by meal planning. One easy way to get started is to take some time over the weekend to sit down and plan each of your dinners for the upcoming week (extra credit for planning breakfast and lunch!). By writing out a clear plan, you can stick to your budget in the grocery store and it will save you lots of time during the week when you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner.
Pro Tips: Use a template to make planning out meals easy and clear. Check out store ads for sales before heading to the store to get the best deals on more expensive items, such as meat.
2. Batch Cooking
Batch cooking is a great way to save time in the kitchen during the week. If you have never heard of it, batch cooking is basically making large quantities of certain foods at the beginning of the week so that most of your food is already prepared during the week. Foods such as steel cut oatmeal or hard boiled eggs can be prepared all at once so that breakfast is easy during those early morning rushes to get everyone out the door. Other foods such as beans, pasta, roasted vegetables or chicken can also be prepared in advance so that making dinner is quick and easy. When it comes time to make dinner, all you need to do is reheat the food you have already prepared and whip up anything else you plan to serve alongside it.
Pro Tips: Search recommended storage safety suggestions for the items you plan to prepare in advance to prevent food from going bad and then having to throw it out. Use staples such as beans or veggies a couple of times during the week to cut down on the amount of items you need to prepare.
3. Prep Freezer Meals
Similar to batch cooking, prepping freezer meals is an excellent way to load up your freezer with plenty of meals ready to go when you need them. This type of preparation might seem a little heavy on the time investment up front because often it can take an entire afternoon, but it will definitely save you in the long run! There are plenty of websites that can give you an entire list of freezer meals and grocery lists to get you started. Set aside a day to go to the store to buy all of your ingredients and then prep freezer meals by making an assembly line of ingredients and putting them all in the proper containers. Some meals can come out to as little as $3 a serving and prepped freezer meals can last anywhere from 2-6 months. Simply thaw out your meal the night before, dump your ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning and by the time you come home, dinner is ready and clean up is easy!
Pro Tips: Use a sharpie to label each bag or container with the type of meal and cooking instructions before adding the ingredients. Once the bag is wet from ingredients, it becomes harder to write without the ink running. Arrange all of your ingredients into an assembly line to make organizing meals as quick as possible.
4. Meal Delivery Services
Meal delivery companies have been cropping up all over the United States and there are some really great reasons why! Having meals brought right to your door takes all the guesswork out of planning and making sure your meal is nutritious. Meals are cooked fresh, delivered daily and you can even choose the diet that fits your lifestyle. With all that moms have on their to do list, having meals delivered to the door allows for more time to spend with the family doing the things you love. Check out the ways Catered Fit can save you lots of time and energy by using the promo code BackToSchool for $25 off meal plans for new members.
Pro Tip: Even if you don’t want to use a meal delivery service for the entire family, use it for the adults in the family! They generally come with 3 meals a day so it even takes the guesswork out of breakfast and lunch for mom and dad!