Meals have always been a frustration for me. My daycare is open later than most and I sincerely dislike cooking.I do cook but we also spend a lot of money on eating out. I've been trying new ways to eat healthy and yet still practical. Here are some things that have worked for us. Let me know if you have other suggestions!
1) Resealable Soda Can Cover: If you like having a taste of pop or you need a little sugar high. Go ahead and take a swig! Instead of drinking the whole can, you can use these FANTASTIC inventions to reseal a pop can!! It will keep your pop fizzy for a couple days. We bought a pack at XS Cargo.
2) Make Ahead: Lately when I go grocery shopping I pick up side dish type foods like potatoes. I then cook up a bunch of mashed potato or steam some bell peppers (My fav!) to keep in the fridge. Over the next couple days I can easily pair a meal with these already-made side dishes. Don't forget to choose items that easily pair with many dishes. Some examples:
- Plain rice
- Baked Potato or Sweet Potato
- Stir Fried peppers
- Roasted Zucchini and potato cubes
Things that don't keep well as leftovers are steamed broccoli and pasta.
So, if I forget to thaw out chicken, I can pick up a pre-cooked chicken and the side dishes are already in my fridge at home! There are also meals that are great to make lots of such as chilli. Chili can be a meal one day and a left over side dish the next day!
3) Super Cook: If you're stumped as to what to cook tonight for supper, check out supercook.com On the left hand side you will see an area to type in the ingredients you have in your cupboard or those you wish to eat. The website will search recipes for those specific ingredients. It will also tell you if the recipe requires other ingredients, asking you if you have those things on hand.
4) Are your kids picky eaters? Do you have days where you slave away in the kitchen cooking gourmet meal that you're sure would win an award?! Ok maybe not, but you're sure your husband will love it! As soon as your kids take a bite ...PLEW! Right on the floor. Always keep a back-up plan so when this occurs you can keep your cool. I keep cans of soup and Costco individual apple sauces in the cupboard. If my kids refuse to eat something i've cooked (which is not often for me thank goodness) then I whip out an easy Plan B: Canned soup packed with veggies and protein!
5) Finally, a sure-fire way to loose weight: Eat when your kids are around. Its as simple as that! It does not matter how full your kids are, as soon as they see you sit down to lunch you will find little fingers and mouths on top of you. Suddenly you're left with a half-portion meal. We're told that North Americans fill their plate too high. Not a problem for me! People ask me how I stay skinny after having two kids?!?! My secret is out!
Healthy is obviously relative. I work hard to balance healthy and practical for my family and for my daycare kids. There are many ways to de-stress mealtime. Let me know if you find other unique ways.