Feeding an entire family can be a daunting task, particularly as children grow and their diets change. If you start every meal from scratch three times a day, you might be spending more time in the kitchen than necessary. To decrease the amount of time cooking takes throughout the week, here are a few tips for food preparation you can incorporate into your weekly routine.
Keep It Simple
When everyone posts their meals online, it can be easy to assume that the meals you make for your family need to be complex and post-worthy every time. You can keep meals simple without sacrificing taste or nutrition, however. According to Busy Budgeter, one way to keep meal preparation simple is by planning to use the same type of ingredients in multiple meals for the week. For example, instead of only buying tomatoes for Tuesday night tacos, you can plan to use them for chili or pasta later in the week as well. This also helps you to save money by buying in bulk. Your family will appreciate the variety and not notice the recycled ingredients.
Use Different Methods
When most people think of meal prep, they think about cooking a ton of meals beforehand and placing them in the freezer. While freezing your meals is a great way to preserve them on a long-term basis, you run the risk of overpacking your freezer quickly. You can also look into other preserving methods, so you are not just freezing your prepared meals. Vacuum Sealers Unlimited says dehydrating, freeze drying, and vacuum sealing are all great ways to store food long-term as part of your meal prep. If you want to preserve vegetables to use in soups later, dehydration is a great option. Vacuum sealing your food can be used in conjunction with freezing to take up less space and preserve the flavor of the meal.
Include the Family
Involving your spouse and children in meal prep can make the process not only more efficient, but also more fun. Another advantage is that your children will become familiar with cooking and learn the importance of healthy eating. Food prep can be valuable time you can spend with your family as you assign tasks to each family member. Even the younger family members can be involved without being underfoot. Placing a toddler in a Piggyback Rider can allow them to see the meal being made without them interrupting the process. By sharing the load, you will also take the pressure away from yourself, and everyone will appreciate the meal more.
Food preparation does not need to be the stressful process people make it out to be. In fact, a few simple tricks can significantly reduce the work and time it takes. By involving your family and planning ahead, meal prep will become an activity you look forward to each week!
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