With so much going on in our lives, it’s hard to juggle life, family, jobs, classes and making healthy meals. It feels like you need time to make healthy food, and when you’re always on the go, finding time for a meal (let alone a healthy one) can seem like a chore. Here are some quick and easy ways to create healthy meals for families, busy executives, students and anyone in between.
On a day that you’re already cooking, plan for extra. Whether you’re cooking for one or four, make extra so the next day for lunch or even dinner, you just have to pop left overs in the microwave. This is a great way to save time when you have a busy week ahead and also minimizes the chances of you eating fast food instead since you’ve got the food ready to go. You can also plan ahead and make a big pot of chili, spaghetti sauce, soup or even roast a whole chicken. Freeze the extra sauce, chili and soup for later, and the extra chicken can be used for salads, tacos and other fast weekday meals.
Utilize the Frozen Aisle
And no, we don’t mean stock up on ice cream. Frozen fruits and veggies are a great way to have health items on hand without the worry of it going bad in the crisper if you can’t get to the fresh produce right away. Various vegetables come in bags that you just have to throw in the microwave for a few minutes for healthy steamed veggies (which also means you aren’t adding unhealthy oils or sauces onto them), creating a fast and healthy side dish for any meal. Canned fruits also work great for a quick snack, but be sure to note what kind of liquid they are in to be mindful of the sugar content.
Don’t Worry about Peeling
When making things like sweet potatoes, carrots, or apples, don’t worry about peeling. It takes up time, when really there are a lot of nutrients in the peels. Instead, just make sure they are washed, and get to cooking. Roast up a pan of veggies, or bite right into that apple for a quick snack without the hassle of getting the skin off. You’ll save yourself time and be eating healthy.
Slow cookers are a great way to get a meal started before you head out the door or just on a busy Saturday. Everything goes into one pot for easy clean up and you’re usually left with enough for another few meals for the rest of the week. A quick Pinterest search will get you hundreds of healthy slow cooker meals to offer variety. This isn’t just for dinners either. Look around for healthy breakfast options as well, plus ideas if you’re trying to keep it healthy at a party or get together.
It sounds like this would take a while, but it won’t. If you got to the store with a game plan, you’ll spend less time wandering the aisles for things you don’t need (like another package of cookies). Plan for a big cut of meat you can use throughout the week, anything you need for a sauce or soup you’ll freeze, and what veggies you’ve got.
If you’re really crunched for time or you know you have a big week ahead, try a healthy food delivery service. These services give you everything you need to cook a meal (or the meal can be totally prepared), and it is delivered right to your door. Plan to use this once or twice a week along with your other meals.
Creating healthy meals for yourself or for your whole family doesn’t have to take all day. Make a little extra, freeze soups and sauces, use frozen foods and your slow cooker to keep yourself on the right track for eating healthy and saving money.