Healthy eating is harder and takes more time than eating junk. Thats the truth. But there are ways to cut down the prep for those long days when both parents work and you need something quick. It’s all about baby steps, using the time you have wisely and taking advantage of weekends…
1) Start with just one healthier meal per week, its something, and when you get used to that, add one more. Take it step by step, one meal at a time. There’s no rush, unless of course you have a medical condition, but then you should be taking the advice of your doctor.
2) Meal plan! This gets easier the more you do it. Have a main board in or near the kitchen, this can be a whiteboard, chalkboard, or just some paper. Write down each day of the week and plan what meals you will be eating when. A nice touch is to have a list of your favorite meals next to this so that you don’t have to think much, just pick from the list! If you feel adventurous one week, then pick one new meal to try. Who knows, it may end up on your favorites list!
3) Have pre written grocery lists. Near your meal plan for the week, have lists of the things you always seem to buy, organized by store. You can also write things in the order of where they are in the store. Each week you can check off the things you need. Again, less thinking. Anything that isn’t on the list, just add underneath (I have an “other” area). You can also do this on your phone, but I like the action of doing it live. I take a picture of my final list so I can have it on my phone when I shop.
4) Use the times you do have (like weekends or evenings) to prep your meals. Wash and chop your veggies, premix any seasonings or marinades, make sauces, and prep baggies of premixed snacks for grab and go. You can even put everything you need for each meal in its own separate baggie or container. It takes a little time but you can do it all at once so overall less time! Plus it keeps you healthy and really saves time on those crazy days!
5) Make leftovers. That way you are not having to cook every day. I usually make double of most of my meals. If we don’t want to eat it the next day, I freeze it and throw it into the mix another week. But it still saves me from cooking it again!