Is feeding your family giving you a headache? Planning dishes that everyone will eat and that fit your budget, can become boring and routine. It’s so easy to end up eating the same few meals over and over again. If you need to change things up a bit, then check out my ways to revamp how you feed your family below.
Meal Planning System
The first thing you need to do is get a good meal planning system in place. Dashing round the store isn’t the best way to plan varied, healthy meals. It also isn’t very good for your budget either. You need to have a robust meal planning system in place before you even enter the supermarket.
The best way to do this is by planning a month of meals at one time. The first strategy is to make a list of 30-35 meals that you know your family loves, like this peanut butter chicken that is a hit with mine. Then you need to break these down into categories. For example, you could have whereabouts in the world that the cuisine comes from as a category, like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, or Indian? Or you could categorize by the main component of the meal like rice, pasta, noodles, or potatoes. You can ever categorize by meal type like salad, vegetarian or meat dishes.
Once you have chosen the categories that work for you, you need to buy some colored notes cards. Use each color for a category and write the name of the dish on one side and the ingredients and recipe on the other. This is important for three reasons. The first is that with the ingredients written down it will make it easy to work out what needs to go on your shopping list. The second reason is that with the recipes right there, anyone that cooks can make the meal. It’s not reliant on that one person having how to cook that particular meal locked in their head. The third reason is that each card has the names of the meal on. It’s easy to get a menu board and stick the cards up to plan what you will be eating that week. The color coding helps you get more variety into your family’s diet. Just make sure you don’t have the same colors next to one another, so you are not having similar meals one after another. Easy.
Meal planning is a clever way of revamping the way your family eats because it removes all the hard work. You don’t need to come up with meals and creating shopping lists, but you still make sure that everyone gets varied and delicious dinners.
Another way that you can revamp how you feed the family and save yourself some time and effort in the process is to freezer prep your meals. This entails setting aside an hour or two once a week and pre-preparing all the ingredients you need to make seven meals. Then you freeze the fresh parts so all you need to do is pop the out of the freezer in the morning and they are ready to go straight in the pan come dinner time.
An excellent example of how this works in practice is a chicken stir fry. Whip up a marinade for the chicken containing soy sauce sesame oil, ginger, chili and garlic. Then pour into a freezer bag and add the chicken breast and freeze. Thinly slice the peppers, spring onions and Chinese leaf, bag and freeze. Then just defrost the chicken on the morning that you want the eat the stir fry for dinner. You can cook the vegetables straight from frozen, and you have a nutritious, delicious meal for the family in less than 10 minutes. That’s why freezer prep is such a good way to revamp how your feed your family.
Bake Your Own Treats
Another way to revamp the way in which you feed your family is by cutting out sugary and fatty processes treats. Many people do this to lose weight, or because they are concerned about the number of additives and preservatives in processed foods.
Making your own desserts and baked goods is a great way of monitoring what is going into your family’s diet. Then you will know that they are consuming the healthiest and best quality ingredients possible.
There are lots of clean eating recipes available where you can replace highly processed ingredients with whole foods. Swap flour for white beans and sugars for agave. Our bodies can digest these ingredients much better than refined flour and sugar. They make us feel more full and stop us getting into a sugar craving cycle.
Something else that you can bake yourself is bread for you family. Store bought bread is another source of unnecessary additives and preservatives. So making your own loaves is a much healthier and nourishing way to feed your family. You can make bread by hand, although it can be time-consuming with the mixing and proving process. A more practical, time efficient way of producing your bread at home is to use a bread making machine.
There are quite a few on the market, so read the 5 best bread machine reviews, to help you decide which one is best for your families needs. You will need to consider things like whether the size and shape of the loaf will be enough to feed everyone that wants it for the day. A bread machine will mix, need, prove and cook your dough for you. However, some have longer cycles than others, so you need to think about when in the day you will make the bread. If it is in the morning, you may need to chose one with a shorter cycle, so it’s ready for lunch time. You can also choose how brown you like the crusts on your bread, and some machines can be used to make pizza dough. So if the family is a fan of their treat, it might be worth investing in a machine that can help you make your own homemade version.
It may be a big change but making your own baked goods is a great way to revamp how you feed the family as they get to eat yummy stuff, while still being healthy.