If you are like most young families today, you have at least two major challenges to getting a healthy meal on the table: the first is time and the second, for many families, is how challenging it is to find healthy foods that your picky children will explore. Let us look at a few ways to address both of these challenges and introduce healthy dinner recipes for family meals.
How to find time to create healthy dinner recipes
One of the first major challenges we have to actively cooking healthy meals each evening for our families is time. We simply are rushed for time, often running from place to place, juggling our work environment, our children’s school and homework, extracurricular activities, etc. When we get home at the end of a long day, there is so little time and energy left to put into cooking up a healthy dinner. Luckily, there are a number of ways to help busy families ensure they still get a good healthy meals made for their families.
Many people have started to identify a few hours once a week to meal plan, undertake the shopping, and prep all the ingredients for a week’s worth of meals. Some people spend this time not only preparing the ingredients, but preparing the full dishes, cooking them and then freezing or storing them for use that week. It takes out all the guess work as to what to do for supper at 5:30 at night. The key elements of this activity are the menu planning and the preparation.
Menu planning is an activity that the family can participate in together by choosing their favorite meals and making suggestions for the week’s menu. This also allows you to make sure you have all the ingredients necessary, rather than finding out five minutes before you start cooking. Incorporating a shopping trip as part of this process ensures there will be no missed ingredients or stress associated with having to come up with another plan last minute. You may even start to notice that shopping and cooking in this manner will save you money as well. Fewer foods are going to waste for lack of planning or realization that you even have that in your home. Also, preparing more than one meal at a time will allow some foods such as meats or sauces to have multiple uses – such items can often be bought in bulk to lower the overall cost.
Role of your picky eater
As noted above, menu planning, shopping and prep for the week’s meals can become a family event. For many picky eaters (but not all) this will allow them to feel a part of the process and more inclined to eat what is being offered with less complaining. Kids who help throughout the process will also be more aware of the foods that will be on their plate and there will be less surprise and potential stress around meal time. There are many suggestions on how to deal with your young picky eater. We want our children to learn to love food and not be stressed out about trying new things – we want to also enjoy a stress-free family meal.
Most of us were raised with the concept that you eat what is placed on your plate or you go to bed hungry. There was one meal and only one meal. While that is certainly an important maxim, to help children understand the role of food in the family, it is important to try to relax during meal time. Give your child the idea that good food is wonderful, to be enjoyed and an opportunity for family members to share a meal and quality time together. Even if your child is not interested in eating what has been offered, encourage them to enjoy sitting with the family and sharing. Perhaps the love of food will grow as part of that process.
How you cook
Technology is also helping us out in the kitchen. We can provide healthy family meals more easily because of great inventions such as the slow cooker. What a great way to ensure a healthy dinner will be awaiting your arrival home at the end of the day. You start your day (or the night before) by throwing your meat, spices, vegetables and such into your slow cooker and let it do its cooking magic all day. You then simply have to do last minute prep or spicing and serve. This is also a great way to ensure left overs for tomorrow.
This article was written by Wallace Tetreau, a health-food freak who always eats healthy foods and meals. She shares a list of healthy food recipes collection in this article.