Tips for a Healthy Meal Plan for the Entire Family

When you have a family of your own, it can be difficult to handle a job, your kids, and your daily meal intake. For anyone who is conscious of the things they are putting in their bodies, it can become a great challenge. Catering to everyone’s needs is usually not an option, hence you make do with what you have available at the moment, or buy ready to cook meals. The readily available foods in the market are great for whom the nutritional value of the meal is not the main concern.

However, following a proper diet plan that suffices all the bodily needs of an adult and provides enough nutrition to the kids’ growing body is harder to balance. The person in charge of the kitchen, either the husband or the wife, could be in a state of confusion about their diets and their kids’ health. Some couples make changes in their work schedule to fit in appropriate kitchen time. Yet there are ways around that which enable families to eat healthy food without wasting too much time in the kitchen. There are many food ideas that will be suitable for kids and adults alike without causing too much trouble to the cook. Following are some of the tips that the whole family can follow and continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Changing Ingredients:

Adults are usually the ones who eat whatever they are presented at home without making an issue out of the meal. Yet, it is quite difficult to please the children as they voice their opinions at the slightest dislike they may have with the food. So if you are making pan roast chicken with vegetables you can switch the veggies to the one your children would like. Or if the sauce accompanying the meal is of some trouble to you, you may change the entire sauce that goes with it. You will only have to do this once since you would already know what to change the next time you cook the same dish.

No Junk Food In the Pantry:

Along with the stove and the kitchen sink, the pantry is one of the most important places in the kitchen. Therefore it needs to be filled with food items that are healthy and do not negatively impact the health of the people who consume it. The more accessible unhealthy food is for anyone, the more it will be consumed. Instead, fill your storage space with things like granola, soba noodles, green teas, yogurts, and porridge. All these things are healthy and easy to prepare. Not only are these appropriate for the adults to munch on, but the kids can use them as a healthy snack.

Ready to Eat Salads and sauces:

The best way to save time in the kitchen is to have your salad boxes ready for the week. When you plan ahead in the weekend and want to lessen your meal preparation time then this is a helpful tactic. This is because veggies can take a long time to cut properly which can extend the time of your preparation. Even the sauces such as guacamole, pasta sauces, and some curries can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as 6 days. While you are doing so, you can also calculate the nutritional value that you and your family will consume over the entire week.  You can also use readymade sauces, but make sure that they fit your dietary needs and are not just filled with sugar or unwanted calories.

meal prep

Set Rules But Don’t Forbid Specific Foods:

Children always want to explore new things and are very curious about everything they haven’t done or eaten yet. This only means that you have to quench their thirst for knowledge not just by educating them but letting them have an experience with it. Set rules on how much soda or deep fried food your kid can eat in the entire week. Warn them about the effects of overconsumption of these foods and even use real life examples to make your point. The examples can be of someone you know who is suffering from health complications due to eating those foods. Inform the health risks of obesity in old and young alike or tell them about how diabetes can affect the seniors the same as kids nowadays. This process helps the kids make their own choices to some extent all the while preventing them from consuming junk food.

Plan your meals ahead:

Making multiple meals throughout the day can get frustrating. To minimize that frustration, you must cook twice a day and plan your meals for the day ahead of time. Cook one meal for breakfast and the next time you go into the kitchen, cook for lunch and dinner at the same time. The lunch meal should have enough quantity and nutritional value to fulfill the kids’ and the adults’ daily dietary intake. Or you can do the opposite and have a dinner that can be used for the next day’s lunch. So plan according to that while taking the family’s likes and dislikes into account.

The more effort you put in planning your meals in advance the better you will be able to see the results. Even though kids do not eat everything they are presented with, but making them aware of the situation can create a better understanding. Making them aware how much a healthy life is important and that they need to eat the same food as you can have a positive impact on them. Another advantage would be that you wouldn’t need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to cook for your family while having time to spare for other family or fitness related activities.

Sherley Alaba
 

Sherley Alaba is an eagle-eyed wordsmith; a writer and translator, always interested in ways which can help individuals (especially youth and women) reach their full creative potential. Her focus has been on writing, producing and editing stories on business, finance, interesting personalities, entrepreneurs, culture, the environment, gastronomy, lifestyle, and social issues.

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