Healthy Food & Families: Finding time for it all

It’s a New Year and what a great time to makeover some of your family meals!  Unfortunately, life can be crazy so it is hard to find time to keep the food you serve your family healthy, fast and delicious.  Here are some tips to help save time while also keeping your family healthy!

Plan ahead

  • People have the perception that planning takes time, but in reality, planning ahead actually saves you time.  Look up some recipes on the internet or a cookbook and talk to your family about what sounds good to them.  Figure out what you are going to make for the week, create a grocery list and have all necessary food items on hand at the beginning of the week.  Planning ahead should save you from taking extra trips to the grocery store.

 Eat meals as a family

  • Research shows that children who eat family meals get more fruits & vegetables and less saturated fat, and have an overall high-quality diet.  Also, eating meals together at the table (instead of in front of the television) can help eliminate mindless eating.

 Stock your kitchen with the “essentials”

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables & fruits (try to have two of each on hand at a time)
  • Frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Frozen fish fillets                                                            
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Canned or dried beans
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Low-fat yogurt                                                                 
  • Milk
  • Part-skim string cheese
  • Whole wheat pasta                                                                        
  • Brown Rice                                                                        
  • 100% whole wheat sandwich rounds

Think leftovers

  • Make double portion of your dinner meal and eat the leftovers as a healthy meal for lunch (instead of fast food) or serve the leftovers the next night.  This decreases your average cooking time for the week.

 Makeover your leftovers

  • If you have leftovers but need to spice things up, try creating a different dish the next night.  For example, let’s say you roast a turkey/chicken and you have leftovers.  Use the leftover poultry to make chicken, wild rice and vegetable soup or chicken tacos.

 Let the grocery store do the prep work

  • If you are short on time, look for foods that are already cut, washed and ready to eat:
    • packaged, ready-to-eat fresh veggies
    • packaged, presliced fruit,
    • precut, trimmed meat/poultry
    • precooked chicken.

Link to 5-Ingredient Recipes for the Busy Cook

Link to Food, Fitness and Families – Finding Time for It All

Listen to the Healthy Food & Families podcast from Star Country
Listen to the Healthy Food & Families podcast from Star Country

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