Five Top Tips To Get Your Meal On The Table
What is the busiest time of the day for you, Mama? For me, it’s hands down just before supper time.
In our home, this tends to be when the children are having their four o’ clock ‘restless’ hour (can you say energy galore??), and I’m sitting there scrambling to see what we can eat!
Nope, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s much better to have that already played out…ahead of time 🙂
I’m no expert, but as a busy business owner/blogger/homeschooling Mama I can relate to ‘busy’. So here are my top five tips to take the stress out of the meal prep: enjoy!
1) Plan, plan & plan some more! Create a week’s worth of meals; then create your shopping list right from that plan. Once you get the hang of it, have a few ‘go to’ weekly meal plans that you can easily access and simply rotate as needed. 4-6 weeks worth in rotation usually will suffice. (note: if you are a flyer shopper like my hubby, then simply change the protein to the cheapest cut of the week & shop accordingly)
2) Even on those crazy, hectic mornings do ONE thing towards dinnertime. Throw the meat out to de-frost; place the cans for that casserole on the counter, or chop up some veggies and place in baggies ready for the stir fry. Trust me, that one step will simplify your day & de-stress the crazy supper hour.
3) Double (even triple!) batch your meals. Store one to two extra in the fridge for the next few days; and/or store the rest in the freezer. Use zip lock freezer bags OR some glass containers. Whatever works for your fridge/freezer. (note: if you’re really brave like one of my friends, try doing a once per month cook ‘off‘. Store the 10-20 meals in deep freezer storage & enjoy the fruits of your labour all month long!)
4) Make your crock pot your new ‘best friend’! Year ago as a single parent of two young children attending university, I barely had time to breathe…let alone cook. Almost daily I would use my crock pot. I would add in all my ingredients for our daily casserole/soup/stew into the slow cooker and go about my business for the day. (*tip–> ensure you have enough water for the length of time you’re cooking). Later at dinnertime, I would spice it up, and simply serve fresh veggies or a salad on the side to have a more balanced meal. There are SO many options for the slow cooker, that you really cannot afford to not have one! A great investment for the kitchen, and even better if you can find a second hand one on sale 🙂
5) For those days you are going to be extremely busy, and on the go, pack some snack packs the night before. It really will limit the drive thru runs and crazy convenience store stops! Some sample healthy choices could be–> raw nuts/seeds or butters (*where allowed); gluten-free or sprouted crackers/bread (whole grains are acceptable too); fresh fruits & veggies galore; hard-boiled eggs (store on ice or cold pack); cold salads (quinoa is a protein-rich option; smoothies/soups (in appropriate spill proof containers); dips (hummous, baba ghanoush, avocado based ones, etc.) & lean/nitrate-free lunch meats; cheese for those not dairy sensitive.
There you have it!! Five tips to help you save time in getting your meals on the table.
I would love to hear from you 🙂 Please feel free to share your number uno tip to get YOUR meals on the table (below in the comments).
Rachael DeBruin; RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritioinist)