Best tip first- Plan in advance! Does anyone do this already?
Have a Week’s Worth of Menus in Mind (or weekday vs weekend)
Whether you write them down or keep them in your head, you need five to seven kid-tested, parent-approved main dishes. Pick options that are easy and popular with everyone. Once you have an entrée, such as tacos, spaghetti, oven-baked chicken or slow-cooker stew, all you have to add is a vegetable and/or fruit and perhaps a whole grain roll to complete the meal.
- Make 1 trip to the store, don’t have to be worrying or think about it all day easier to meet your budget and nutrition needs
- Plan for eating out, soup and pie suppers, nights you have to work late etc
- Prep tomorrow’s while you are cooking tonight’s
- Use fresh produce early in the week, and rely on canned or frozen for later on
Keep Your Kitchen Stocked with Quick-to-Fix Foods (if you have room)
Whenever you shop, look for specials on staples (rice, pasta, beans, etc.) as well as frozen and canned fruits and vegetables with little or no added salt or sugars. Eggs, peanut butter, canned tuna etc. With a wide variety of tasty choices on hand, you’ll only have to worry about the main dish when it’s time to make dinner.
Prepare Multiple Batches of Main Ingredients
If you’re cooking ground beef, it’s just as easy to cook a double or triple batch. Freeze extra servings to reheat for tacos or casseroles. Try slicing, marinating and freezing extra beef, pork, chicken or fish for stir-fry dishes. Drop any one of these protein options into a wok or skillet for quick cooking on a busy night.
- Make a double batch, or only serve half- lasagna example- less main entrée- more fruits and veg
- Have to have a way to keep track of what you have- sometimes gets buried in the freezer
- Don’t let it go too long- use within a month
Need time to prepare ahead of time- night before or that morning George Foreman Grills- Very fast, food is fresh- gets rid of lots of fat. Can be dry. Marinade in Fat-Free Italian dressing- chix and pork chops
Plan a leftover night- if you just have a serving or 2 of a variety of things, warm them up and let the family choose what they want. You may have to fill in with a sandwich or some quick pasta to round out the meal.
Breakfast for supper- Scrambled eggs and toast, Pancakes or waffles –especially if you don’t have time to make these in the am.
Breakfast –crazy time, very important, prep night before(mix pancake mix, get pans out, set table etc)
- take breakfast to go-grab a banana, bag of trail mix or dry cereal- (recipe included)
- Mix low-fat yogurt with whole-grain cereal, and serve with a glass of orange juice.
- Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for a 30-second smoothie to enjoy with a bran muffin.
- Add dried cranberries and almonds to quick-cooking oatmeal.
- Egg in the microwave sandwich – 45 sec