When school is back in session, it’s easy to get so overwhelmed by your busy schedule that healthy eating falls by the wayside. But what if we told you that healthy eating can be easier, tastier and more cost effective than so-called convenience foods? By using these back-to-school meal prep tips, you can easily keep your family dinner – and fitness goals – intact.
- KEEP A RUNNING GROCERY CHECKLIST
Avoid the inconvenience of running out of key ingredients by making a checklist of must-haves and looking it over before you go to the grocery store. A small dry-erase board on the fridge is an easy way to know what you need at a glance. Keeping healthy staples like fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, herbs and spices, and wholesome carbs like sweet potatoes and quinoa handy will ensure you always have a nutritious option on hand and prevent you from dialing delivery during a moment of weakness.
- PREP EARLY
Do some basic food preparation right when you get home from the grocery store. Wash, chop and portion out meats and produce that keeps in the fridge, so your meal’s ingredients are ready for you when it’s time to make dinner.
- PREPARE ONE-DISH WONDERS
Cleaning up after cooking can take up almost as much time as cooking itself, and it’s much less rewarding. Casseroles, soups and other easy dishes allow you to prepare, serve and store a balanced meal in a single container. You can also double up on the recipe to freeze single portions for future meals.
Here are 6 Tasty and Healthy Dishes you can make tonight!
- GET HELP FROM THE KIDS
Have a family cooking night, and put the kids to work! Even younger kids can have fun with tasks like rolling turkey meatballs, mashing cauliflower or arranging fresh fruit cups for dessert. If your kids are old enough, they can even be responsible for the whole meal. On top of saving time and acting as a fun bonding experience, it will lay the groundwork for your kids to learn about healthy eating.
- DON’T FORGET THE SLOW COOKER
The slow cooker is an unsung hero in many kitchens, though it couldn’t be easier to use! Just toss in your ingredients before leaving for work or errands, and it cooks while you’re gone. Breakfasts, dinners and even desserts can all be prepared in a slow cooker. Bonus: It’s super easy to clean, especially if you use slow-cooker liners – just throw ‘em away when you’re done.