One of the most challenging duties of running a household is putting food on the table. Here are six food prep tips for busy parents that are sure to make your life easier.
Key is in the Meal Planning
Meal planning is essential for busy parents. Taking 30 minutes at the beginning of the week to plan your meal for the days ahead can go a long way in ensuring that meal time is not a stressor in your life.
The first thing to do is to take a look at the family schedule for the week. For example, if you know that you are going to spend two nights out at the ballpark for practice, consider adding two meals to the weekly schedule that are portable.
Once you have your schedule set, you can begin slott ing in meals that make sense and build your grocery list around what that necessitates.
Lean on Gadgets
Today’s modern kitchen should be stocked with gadgets that make meal prep easier for busy parents. The classic kitchen essential is a slow cooker. Simply take a few minutes in the morning to throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and it will cook up all day and be ready to eat when everyone arrives home at the end of the day.
A pressure cooker is another new tool that many families have discovered in their pursuit of providing healthy and quick meals. By compressing the time that it takes to whip up a meal, you will be able to prepare homemade meals that do not require you to slave over the oven.
Use a Meal Delivery Service
It is easier than ever to feed your family nutritious meals thanks to the convenient meal delivery service options. Meal Village allows you to order prepared meals delivered to your door. These ready-to-heat and eat meals take the hassle out of deciding what to do for dinner.
Because the menu changes every day, you will never get bored with the options at Meal Village. You will enjoy the best of both worlds with home-cooked meals that could not be easier to get on the table for your family.
Make the Most of Free Time
Savvy parents learn how to make the most out of their free time so that meal prep is easier during the busier evenings. For many families, this means setting aside a block of time on Sunday to prepare food for the week.
Even if you do not prepare all of the meals for the week on Sunday, you can set aside a few hours to do things such as cut and wash vegetables, brown a large batch of ground beef to use in recipes throughout the week, and other tasks that will make meal prep faster and more efficient in the week ahead.
Get the Whole Family Involved
Meal prep should not only always fall on the shoulders of the parents. Getting your kids involved in the cooking process is a great way to teach kids crucial life skills while encouraging your home life to run more smoothly.
As a bonus, young kids who help out in the meal prep process are also more likely to eat the food, encouraging healthier eating habits at the same time.
If your kids are teens, you may even want to consider assigning the entire meal prep for one dinner a week to your kids. They may surprise you at how much they can get done. This is a great approach for families with teenagers who may have more free time in the afternoon hours after school to get dinner started before the parents arrive home from work.
Give Yourself Grace
There are always going to be nights where the best-laid plans fail you. This is when you should give yourself grace and go ahead and order that takeout or swing the drive-thru. The occasional meal out will not wreck your budget or waistline. As long as it does not become a habit, you can work these meals out into your routine.
These six tips will help you to enjoy meal time with your family, nourishing bodies, and hearts as you sit down to eat together.