Written by Krista Leischner under the direction and review of Tara Shafrath.
Life gets busy; it is a (non-scientific) fact. Somewhere in between getting kids to school, working, picking kids up from school, and driving kids to extra-curricular activities you have to figure out what to feed your family. After a long day, convenience is priority. Although eating out or grabbing some fast food may seem like the easiest option at night, preparing meals at home is a healthier and more affordable solution. In fact, eating at home does not require a ton of time either; dedicating a couple hours one day a week (Sunday seems to work best, personally) can curb stress around meal times and help your family live healthier!
First and foremost, make a plan.
- There are thousands of easy, healthy recipes on the internet! I find it helpful to, choose a breakfast bake recipe, a casserole recipe, and a crockpot recipe and depending on your family size you can adjust the number of recipes for the week. Then take a quick inventory of what you already have and put together a grocery list of what you need for your recipes. Next, add your families’ “basics” (bread, eggs, milk, etc.) to the list along with any fruits and vegetables for the week.
Try your best to stick to the list.
- This will not only make your trip more efficient, but also less expensive as you will not be buying extra items on a whim. If you are struggling to find time to go to the grocery store, some stores in South Dakota allow you to order and pay for your groceries online and you can have them picked up at the store or delivered (if you reach a certain price point).
Lastly, prep your food.
- Take a few minutes to chop any produce and place it in small bags to serve as quick snacks throughout the week. Make your breakfast bake (oatmeal or egg bakes are great options), cover with tinfoil, place in the refrigerator, and bake according to instructions the next morning. Depending on your family, a large pan of breakfast bake paired with a fresh fruit is a quick and healthy breakfast for the week’s busy mornings.
- Beef fajitas is an easy option for a crockpot meal; combine the ingredients (meat, frozen vegetables, and homemade sauce) into a large freezer bag. To make your own sauce combine two minced garlic cloves, one tablespoon honey, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon chili powder, two teaspoons cumin, and one teaspoon paprika. Before leaving the house you can dump the bags’ contents into the crockpot, bake on low for six to eight hours, and your supper will be ready when you get home.
- Prepare the casserole and place in the refrigerator or freezer; this can easily be taken out and baked when you get home in the evening. A lasagna with some extra veggies is a healthy option. Leftovers from these meals will make great lunches the next day!
The time you put towards preparing healthy snacks and meals at home is worth it. Planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will help your family live busy, healthy weeks!