8 Clever Ways to Save Time on Family Cooking (Without Compromising on Health)
When school starts, life can get a little bit hectic. Finding a way to get everything done sometimes goes out the window! One of the important things for any busy family to remember is organization, planning ahead and working together are all keys to getting everything done. Here are 8 Clever Ways to Save Time on Family Cooking (Without Compromising on Health) that you can start today!
One of the most valuable things you can do as a busy family is planning ahead as you are cooking basic meals. A great way to ensure that you always have meals ready is to make a “double batch” every time you cook. Some great things you can make a double batch of are:
Spaghetti sauce and meatballs
Shredded Chicken (good for everything from salad to sandwiches)
Lasagna or baked pasta dishes
When you make a second batch make sure you seal it in a freezer type zipper bag so that it stays fresh. Then when you are in a bind for what to make, you can just pop one of your freezer meals out and you’ve got a healthy meal in a flash!
Learn to Use Your Crockpot or Instapot Like a Pro
Many times we end up with kitchen tools that we don’t maximize the use of. Crockpots and Instant Pots are often a highly underrated way to fix healthy meals for your family. From soups to roasted chicken, you can make healthy meals while running errands, getting things done at work or even taking a nap!
You can use your Instant Pot the same way. Think about meals heavy on veggies and lean meats like chicken when you look for recipes.
Use A Meal Planning Service
These days, many parents have trouble finding the time to manage everyone’s schedules and still put a healthy meal on the table. That’s where meal services like Yumble come in! If you don’t have time to plan, they’ll do all the work for you! You can get an hour back each day at least using their service! Get weekly deliveries of homemade meals for your kids which means your fridge is always stocked with healthy meals each week saving you valuable time.
Yumble is easy to setup and manage! You get to choose one dinner, one lunch and snacks for each day of the week. Plus you can have delivery for all the kids! They offer an extensive menu of dinners, lunches, and snacks – you get to choose exactly which ones you want for your children each week!
To get started, check to see if Yumble is available in your area. Then you’ll get to select your plan which includes the number of meals you would like to receive each week. Next comes the fun part- you get to choose your child’s meals from a line-up of fresh made, healthy favorites! Select meals that include wholesome chicken nuggets to something a little more savory like black bean burritos! You can plan out and order a whole week’s worth of meals in under 10 minutes! It’s fast, yummy and healthy! Plus if you’ve got a picky eater, you can select the same meals multiple times!
Make Snack Bags for the Kids
When the kids come home from school, they’ll be hungry so having snack bags ready will not only make snacking fun but it can also prevent them from having to “make” something when they get home. Many parents find success making these on Sundays so they are ready for the week. Many parents find if they pre-sort healthy favorites like carrot sticks, edamame or whole grain crackers in to ready to eat portions, kids are more willing to grab one!
Cook Large Amounts of Meal Staples at Once
A big time saver and of course a way to ensure that you always have healthy meal staples on hand is to cook things like chicken and lean beef in large batches and then store in freezer bags that can be defrosted or used for multiple meals.
If stored correctly, these can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. Since one of the biggest obstacles in cooking healthy meals is taking the time to cook protein this solves this problem. When you BBQ or grill chicken, defrost and cook the whole package at once instead of just defrosting enough for one meal. Then when you cook up your BBQ chicken, you can serve it for dinner one night and then the next day chop up the leftovers and make a yummy BBQ chicken salad or a BBQ chicken sandwich for lunch.
Use Meal Planning
Meal planning is a highly overlooked organizational skill. You can plan a week or a month and the best thing is once you have a few plans in place, you can easily rotate your old calendars to keep healthy meals at the ready.
Meal planning can be tricky at first but for the most part, once you get used planning ahead, you’ll find you spend less, eat out less and have less stress because you always know what to have!
Here’s a few tips for Meal Planning:
- Start by adding your families favorites.
- Then alternate heavier meals with lighter meals (you don’t want pasta three days in a row!).
- Buy in bulk when you can. If you notice you have chicken every other day, buy in bulk to save.
- Look at your freezer meals and make sure you include those on busy days.
- Plan one “fun” meal a month like pizza or eating out if your budget allows.
- Use online printable calendars.
- Go with theme night like “pasta night” or “soup night”.
- Use your meal plan to shop for the whole week’s meals at once.
Involve the Whole Family
When you involve the whole family in making and planning for meals, you can often introduce new flavors, new foods and new habits. Have a family meeting and let the whole family know that everyone will be involved in helping make and pick healthy meals. Then assign the kid’s chef duty. This not only helps to create valuable life skills (cooking) but also encourages the rest of the family to try something new. No one will want to disappoint Kara when she makes fiesta chicken by not tasting it! Plus putting kids in charge of the meals puts them in charge of their health too.
From amazingly easy to use meal delivery services like Yumble to working as a family do plan ahead meal preps you can have healthy meals for everyone in a flash with all these great ideas! Which one of these are you going to try? Since many work together to help you save time on family cooking we say try them all! Be sure to send us your pictures of your favorites on Facebook!