Being a busy working parent can lead to struggles in balancing home life. More often than not, you end up taking shortcuts, especially in putting food on the table. There is no shame in feeding your children take-out food once in a while. But nothing beats home-cooked meals.
Not only are they more wholesome and healthier, but you are also participating in an excellent family activity by enlisting the kids in prepping meals. The question is, how do you do it? What tips and tricks can you try to make home-cooking a staple practice? This article will provide you with the solutions you need to make that much-needed change for your family.
Try meal-prep and delivery services
One shortcut to preparing home-cooked meals worth trying is a meal delivery service. In recent years, many people have benefited from the convenience of having meal kits prepared and ready to cook. According to top10.com, in comparing popular meal-delivery services like Sun Basket and Hello Fresh, you will notice several common denominators such as top-of-the-line produce and easy-to-follow recipes you can prepare in minutes.
What’s more enticing about these services is how they conveniently remove grocery shopping out of the equation yet keep all the positive aspects of home cooking. Indeed, meal delivery services are designed for busy people, especially working parents.
Make it a habit to keep your kitchen well-stocked
Start by taking an inventory of ingredients that make cooking hassle-free. Dried pasta, frozen vegetables, canned beans, and dried spices are only a few examples of pantry staples you should always have. Even if you do not have time to go to the grocery store for fresh produce, having pantry staples will still allow you to whip-up simple, healthy dishes at home.
Plan your meals for the entire week
During the weekend, you need to plan and shop for weekday meals. List specific recipes and shop for all the ingredients you need. Keep meals simple and healthy to save on prep time. If possible, pre-cook some of the ingredients and freeze them. For example, you can make organic chicken stock in batches, and use it for soups and sauces. You can also look for quick and easy to make dishes from different cuisines. If you love Chinese food, for example, SideChef offers tasty lo and chow mein recipes that will surely become family favorites. Noodle recipes are very practical and the best part is that you can make a big batch that you can simply heat up during the week.
Your freezer is your friend
You can cook healthy frozen dinners at home. Whenever you have time during weekends, whip up a big batch of stew or soup and freeze it in portions. All you need to do is prepare some simple sides, and you have a great meal ready in minutes, even during a hectic weekday.
Use high-tech tools
Crockpots, slow-cookers, and pressure cookers are all the rage these days, and for a good reason. All you need to do is plug the appliance in before leaving in the morning and come home at night with an aromatic meal waiting. Any device that will shorten the cooking time or reduce prep-time is a busy parent’s friend.
Crockpots, for example, are perfect for cooking a variety of dishes. There are countless recipes dedicated to maximizing the use of a crock-pot, which means you will never run out of ideas for what to cook for your family.