Being a mum to 2 young boys and trying to run my own business, means creating healthy & quick meals is a top priority. I wanted to share some simple tips that I use to help you have a healthy home-cooked meal on the table instead of stopping at the drive through when you are rushed for time.
- Start a weekly ritual: Pick a day and spend an hour to plan and prepare meals. Get your family involved in a fun way to help you prepare the meals for the week. Give everyone (kids and husbands) an appropriate job. For example: Husband BBQ’s chicken breast and kids can wash the vegetables and fruit, and separate into baggies. Put on music, funny aprons, etc., to make it more than just a chore!
- Boil a dozen eggs at a time and refrigerate. You don’t have to eat the whole egg; you can break away the whites (protein). Hard-boiled eggs will last at least five days in the fridge, and are a great compact snack.
- Cook eight chicken breasts at a time. Grill, BBQ, bake, or broil with your favourite seasonings. Great for slicing over salad, or even having half of one as a snack. Keep 3–4 in the fridge, and individually freeze the rest. Take out a frozen breast the night before.
- Chop up vegetables and store in individual containers. Chop up whatever vegetables you like to eat raw. A good tip for making them last is to place a wet piece of folded kitchen paper towel into the container with them. Sometimes it can take me an hour to prep all my fruits & veggies but there is always less waste when I do this and that means more value for your money!
- Wash entire heads of lettuce and chop for salads. Store lettuce in an appropriate container. If it is already chopped up, it is very easy to make a salad in the morning.
- Make a vegetable soup. Make your favourite soup recipes and make enough soup for a week. Store 2–3 servings in the fridge. Put the rest in individual containers and store in the freezer.
- Cook a huge amount of vegetable stir-fry. Throw a bunch of vegetables into a wok and stir-fry with unlimited condiments of your choice. Store in the fridge in individual containers, so they are ready to grab. Add a chicken breast to it. This way, dinner is almost ready without having to cook when you get home from work.
- Open and rinse cooked beans or lentils. Open a can of your favourite beans and rinse until it stops foaming. Measure half-cup servings and store in individual airtight containers, so they are ready to grab. They will last for 3-4 days.
- Pick 1–3 recipes and cook ahead of time. Using the recipes provided, cook and freeze. Take out the meal in the morning, so it will be defrosted by dinnertime. Add a side of stir-fry or salad.
- Portion out nuts/seeds. Buy your favourite nuts/seeds in bulk and store in containers in the fridge. Portion out your weekly serving amounts into snack bags. This makes it really handy to grab and go.
- Create a favourite recipe file. This way, if you are stuck for ideas on what to cook that week you can refer to your file and use one of the family favourites.
- Eat the same lunches and snacks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Planning to eat the same things on alternate days cuts down on the need to plan, grocery shop, and prepare ahead of time. This way, you always know what you are having and can use the leftovers for lunches.
I hope these tips will help to make your life easier. If you have any others you would like to share, please leave your comments below, I would love to hear from you.
Melanie Grime RHN
Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington, and Caledon areas. Adams Apple Nutrition treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals.