Making Healthy Dinners Easy For Busy Parents

Making Healthy Dinners Easy For Busy Parents

We know just how much there is to think about as a busy working parent, let alone with Christmas coming up! A full weeks work, the morning and night-time routines, plus cahufeurring the kids around and keeping up with the chores is tough enough without piling Christmas shopping and social engagements on top! So let's keep things simple and healthy in the kitchen to take away any additional stress around meal times. 

Healthy eating needn’t be a headache or unnecessarily time consuming. Here's some time-saving tips and simple dinner ideas that will help ensure your family are eating healthily, the easy way.

Tip #1 Keep your kitchen stocked with staple ingredients
It is so much easier to whip something up for dinner if you have a kitchen well stocked with basic healthy ingredients. Plus you don't have to keep going to the supermarket every day! These items are great staples to keep in:
  • canned tomatoes and legumes (chick peas, kidney beans etc)
  • jars of whole wheat pasta and packets of quick cook brown rice
  • oats and wholemeal bread
  • bags of frozen fruit and vegetables
  • ingredients to add flavour such as olive and/or coconut oil, soy sauce, pesto, herbs and spices, stock, curry paste and tins of coconut milk
  • nuts are great for healthy snacking
  • fresh fruit and vegetables & proteins such as chicken, mince, fish, eggs, yoghurt, milk and cheese in the fridge
Tip #2 Make extra and freeze
There’s nothing better than knowing you have a freshly prepared meal in the freezer as a backup if you just don’t have the time or the energy to cook! Instead of opting for frozen pizzas or chicken nuggets and chips, try making larger quantities of meals that freeze well and popping them in there straight away. Dishes such as bolognaise or chilli, curries, stews, casseroles, soups, lasagne or quiches all freeze really well. Take a look at our recipe for Thai Green Chicken Curry

Tip #3 An hour of food prep equals a week of ease
Finding an hour or two to prepare food for the week is a huge time saver and weight off your mind knowing you've got it covered! You could have all your meals sorted, at least for the first half of the week, by making larger portions of things like overnight oats for breakfast where you just need to add some fresh fruit on the day, some mini fritatas or healthy muffins or hummus and crackers for snacks, and any of the freezable meal suggestions above for lunch and dinners. 

Tip #4 Throw everything into the slow cooker
The beauty of a slow cooker is simply throwing the ingredients in, leaving it overnight or while you go to work... and hey presto! You have a dish ready to serve. You can really throw any of your leftover veggies or meat into a slow cooker with a tomato-based or curry sauce, or some stock to make a soup, and you will have a super tasty and super nutritious meal to come home to. It also makes the kitchen smell amazing and there’s minimal washing up! Winner winner chicken dinner :-)
Kelly Richardson, The Gourmet Nutritionist, has designed a pulled pork recipe for Lifelong Learning Centres families that is not only delicious but can feed your family for days, a number of different ways. Take a look here! (If you don’t already have a slow cooker, there are a variety of models that vary from budget to gourmet and can be purchased from any major department store such as Myer, David Jones, Kmart or a supermarket such as Coles or Woolworths.)

Lifelong Learning Centres are passionate about promoting Healthy Children, and take a unique holistic approach to early years education and care. Find a Lifelong Learning Centre near you and ask about what incursions, activities and events they provide to support your child to reach their full potential. 
Posted: 11/22/2017 2:59:48 PM by