Families are so rushed these days, eating fresh, healthy food is sometimes tough to do. Time is always tight, and fast food is a quick choice for almost any meal. But with a little planning and some worthwhile family time together, you can make great-tasting, healthy meals in just about the time it takes to drive to a fast food place and bring home a bag.
Making a commitment to eat healthy food is one of the most important things you can do for your kids. Set aside an hour or so to plan your menu for the week. Use cookbooks, Internet sources and favorites family recipes to decide what to eat for the week, and commit to cooking all fresh food for the entire week. Put together a list of easy-to-prepare items, including snacks. Make a list, and do one grocery shopping trip for all the ingredients.
Using Your Appliances
Most people have counter tops or cupboards full of small appliances, and these can be helpful time-savers when cooking healthy food. Start a stew or casserole in the crock pot before going to work, and you'll come home to a great meal. Use food processors and blenders to prepare sauces and soups. A counter-top grill can be used to make shish kebab or tasty panini-type sandwiches. Stir fry a meal in minutes with a wok. All of these appliances can help get dinner on the table in less time than it takes to go to the drive-thru, and with much healthier results.
Using Your Downtime
The weekend is a perfect time to try recipes that may take a little longer. Put together a soup or stew, and let it simmer while you do other chores. Make a large pot of pasta sauce, and freeze meal-sized individual portions. Roast a turkey or pork loin, and portion out the leftovers for two or three more meals. Chop vegetables for snacks and stir-fries, storing them in bags for future use. An hour or so on your day off can guarantee a week's worth of easy, healthy meals that will be faster than fast food.