The Challenge of Cooking a Healthy Dinner Fast
It is not every housewife that has the time to prepare a good meal in the evening when they have been at work all day and then come home to so much to do. When you have kids, they want attention. There might be homework to be overseen, housework that needs attending and of course, what are you going to prepare for the evening meal? It is a juggling act and it is so important to take some time out during the week to plan meals so you already know what you are going to prepare.
When you go grocery shopping it can be tempting to buy prepackaged meals that you can microwave because they are so fast and easy to prepare. This is fine occasionally, but when you want to bring up healthy children and have you and your spouse stay that way too, these kinds of meals are not necessarily the best solution even though they can be the fastest. For one thing, you will often be disappointed in the taste of these kinds of meals and they can be terribly high in sodium, fat and calories. Not to mention they are often way overpriced for what you get. For a family of five or more, you will even have to buy two packages to have enough to go around no matter what the package says the serving size should be because we know that it is often far less than we actually eat.
Of course, you could do burgers and fries or hot dogs, but these are not that healthy either. One of the fastest and healthiest ways to cook fresh meats like chicken strips, meatloaf, or even pork chops, is in the oven. It is better for you than frying and the mess seems to be smaller. They usually taste better and have better texture than if you microwave them. Pop them on a pan, season lightly, and bake. Most of these can be done in half an hour or so defending on the thickness. While the meat is cooking, you can boil a bag or two of fresh or frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or corn in no time. Cook a couple of these and add some bread like fast baking rolls or wheat bread toast and you will be through with cooking in less that an hour. Remember to start cooking the items that takes the longest first and work your way down the menu list.
We all know how tough it can be to get kids to eat healthy foods when they always want the junk stuff. Try to make them a part of the meal planning process. Get a cookbook with quick cook recipes and let them show you what they think they might like. Make sure your cookbook has a lot of colorful pictures. Even as adults we are more likely to try and eat foods that look appealing to us and it can be the same with kids. When they are given healthy choices they choose themselves and even help prepare if they are old enough to be helpful, they will feel like they are getting more say in what they eat and forcing them to try things might not even be necessary.