Preparing delicious, nutritionally complete meals that the entire family enjoy can feel like a mammoth job.
And we agree. It is no small task even if you have all the time in the world.
But most of us don’t have much time at all.
We are trying to squeeze meal planning and preparation into a narrow time slot while juggling a million other tasks that seem to keep rising to the top of the list.
We all want to make health and wellness a priority, but it can be hard to achieve this along with all the other commitments.
In truth, it comes down to planning and excellent time management. The family also need to have a willingness to try new things at times. Read on for our top tips on simplifying your life by being more efficient in the kitchen.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It sounds tedious, but planning is key. Find a schedule that works for your household to take the pressure off. No more time wasted staring at the pantry or wandering around the grocery store in search of inspiration!
Set time aside once a week to plan your meals. This planning session can be as flexible or as rigid as you like. It can also be something you do yourself or take input from the rest of your family. However, you do it, it’s truly a game changer.
With your plan at your side, get smart about meal prep. Maybe every Sunday you peel and chop your veggies for the week and stash them in the fridge. Or batch cook some staples or side dishes you will use during the week. Make it a fun family activity by enlisting the kids where you can. There are plenty of jobs they can do like getting them to prep components of their school lunch every night.
The important thing to remember is if you can set aside prep time when you aren’t super busy, you will be thankful for it come dinner time!
While it’s a nice idea to create tomato sauce and hummus from scratch, we are not superhuman. You can still choose some store-bought alternatives for quick healthy meals. There are plenty of delicious hummus varieties available at the supermarket. If you do love to make your own sauces and hummus, then why not make a big batch on the weekend to last you through the week?
Also, don’t be ashamed to make use of back up options like frozen veggies where needed.
Slow It Down
Slow cookers can be lifesavers. Prepare your ingredients when you have time and package them so they are ready to go. Then, simply throw everything into the crockpot in the morning and you have a delicious, aromatic treat waiting for you at the end of a busy day.
Stews, soups, and even full roast dinners can be done this way.
Keep It Simple
Good food doesn’t have to be fancy. You can create your old faves which can, of course, be jazzed up if you feel adventurous. There is nothing wrong with pasta Tuesdays and soup Sundays. You can always vary what you put with your pasta and the flavour of soup you make.
Using the same core ingredients means you will always have something on hand in the pantry.
No one said you had to plan a full 3-course meal every night for the next month! If it all seems a bit too much, start with planning two or three meals a week and go from there. Once you see how well it works, you will find it easier to continue. You can then gradually expand your meal planning to fill the whole week or even a fortnight.
Remember Your Why
To keep yourself motivated with the planning and prep, keep your why front and centre. Want more time with the family? Have a health problem you want to address? Write it down or find an image that represents your “why” and pin it somewhere prominent.
We all aspire to be more efficient, but Rome was not built in a day! You don’t have to change all your efficiency habits tomorrow. The most important thing is to give yourself a break and set realistic expectations. Start small by making a few changes at a time. Do the things that work for your family and adding to it so that you build good, efficient habits.
And if you need help and support, why not check out what we offer here at The Wicked Healthy Tribe. We are an online community of like-minded women who are all trying to be more efficient, healthier and the best version of themselves! Check out more info on the tribe here.