As the world progresses with time, parents are starting to take up responsibilities for their child’s future. This accounts for them being busier and cooking dinner will be the last thing on their mind when they come home. On top of that, having hungry kids, ingredients missing for dinner, timing issues adds to the pain of the tired parents.
However, with a fool-proof plan and perfect execution, you can cook a delicious meal and keep your kids happy. In this article, we will talk about some meal preparation ideas that can be used to make life easy both for your work and the kid’s meal.
This meal prep advice will range from giving you ideas to work with, how to store your food, execute your meals, and keep your kids satisfied. So that you can handle your work and home like a pro. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Let’s First Look at the Meal Prepping Ideas We Compiled Just for You
1. Sheet Pans are Your Best Friend
When we say that, we mean it. Sheet pans can get your meals prepared within minutes. The way you can use it is unmeasurable. You can make a sheet pan omelet. Throw in beaten eggs with the type of topping you like and bake it for twenty minutes. Then you can cut it into pieces and freeze it for up to 3 months. Microwave and enjoy it anytime.
Use your sheet pan for making desserts that you can enjoy after dinner or as a snack. Our favorite includes brownies and cookies. Make your cookie dough and brownie batter and spread it evenly across the pan and bake it until the toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean. Your kids can pick and eat them anytime to satisfy their sweet tooth.
To make dinner easy, roast your vegetables, any type of protein using a sheet pan. Take 5 minutes off to marinate and toss them in the seasoning of your choice and voila! Your dinner is ready on a sheet pan. This takes less than twenty minutes, and you can make more meals with just one tool. Investing in a sheet pan can boost your meal prepping game.
2. The Versatility of Roasted Chicken
Chicken is one of those proteins that are game-changing for busy parents. It cooks quickly, doesn’t require much effort, and goes with any seasoning of your choice. If you have some leftover roasted chicken, don’t throw it! Freeze it. Trust our words on it. This will save you from a whole week of meals. Shred the roasted chicken and freeze it to use in your recipes.
These shredded chicken go well with salads, sandwiches, burritos, stirred in with some sauce, use it in stir-fries and serve with rice which you can cook easily with a rice cooker!. You can mix in some noodles too. Chicken meat is like a blank canvas, it will go with anything you put it with. Plus, you can use these cooked meals and freeze them for another dinner. Getting two jobs done with one move!
3. Sauces for the Win!
Okay, no, we are not talking about your random dipping sauces like ketchup or BBQ, rather we are talking about the meaty delicious pasta sauces. Now, these sauces aren’t limited to pasta only. For example, the Bolognese sauce. Despite being home to a majority of pasta dishes, you can use it to create some quick meals in no time. Boil some pasta, coat the sauce with, heat some tortillas, spread the sauce, and pair some lettuce with it. Freeze the sauce and heat it to use in your recipes. It will save you more time and less fuss around.
4. Smoothies… Your Breakfast Superhero
How can we talk about meal prepping without adding the most healthy food of all time, smoothies! They are filling, healthy, customizable, and quick to make. Take some time on the weekend and chop up fruits like bananas, mangoes, berries, and vegetables like avocado, spinach, zucchini (trust me you won’t even taste them, they are in it for the health benefits.) and freeze them. When it’s time for breakfast, throw in the frozen goods, choice of liquid, and blend. You got yourself some delicious breakfast in 5 minutes. Your kids will be happy, and so will you since you have more time to work now.
5. Sandwiches For Days
If you want to get some time off on the weekends, try this. Batch make a bunch of sandwiches with your choice of patty, cheese, and topping and use baking paper to wrap up and freeze them. You can simply take one out for easy mornings, heat it in the oven, and serve. Tada! You got some filling breakfast for your kids which is delicious too.
Now Let’s Go Through Some Tips That You Can Implement In Your Meals
- Plan! Plan! Plan!: This is the root of all your solutions. Your day will become much easier if you take the time to plan so that you get the time to execute it.
- Chop your Vegetables and Freeze: This is self-explanatory. Chop up your fresh items and freeze them to use in your stir-fries and curries. For a quicker option, you can buy frozen vegetables at your local supermarket.
- Create a Family Favorites List: Having the same meals each day can be boring for your family. To combat that, involve them. Give them the leisure to choose whatever food they like. Compile them and come up with a meal idea. Delegate tasks and let them help around. This way you can keep the kids happy and also save some time.
- Theme Nights!: This is one of our favorite tips to use. Select a theme for each of your days. For example, Pizza Saturday, Mexican Monday, Italian Wednesday, Taco Thursday. Letting everyone know about the theme can help you get ahead and plan for those foods. You can cut down cooking time and the kids will enjoy it too!
- Make Your Goods Last Longer: To plan your meals right, you need to make sure that your fresh produce has the time to thrive as the week goes by. Following are some tips you can use.
Wash berries in a 1:3 ratio of vinegar and water to make them last longer, or freeze them to use in smoothies.
Chop up your herbs and freeze them with oil. When you’re ready to cook, just plop one in the pan, and you get instant flavor hitting right in your palate.
Store your lettuce in an airtight mason jar to keep it fresh and crispy for a week or more.
Freeze your vegetables to avoid them going bad and use them instantly in recipes.
- Let Kids Take Over: An interactive way to make them learn and also save time. Start by making them wash the products or mix the ingredients, let your older kids do the chopping. The more hands you have, the easier it will be to prepare your meals. So don’t be shy, ask for help!
- It’s Okay To Cheat: Sometimes plans just don’t go right. You come home too tired. Situations like this are inevitable. At times like this, opt for ordering a takeaway. Don’t feel guilty thinking you could have done better. Plus, sometimes it is okay to give yourself a break and splurge.
Using these tips, you can convert yourself to a pro meal planner and manage your home and work at the same time. At first, it may seem daunting. But don’t give up! Once you get the hang of it, all will come together. Plan ahead, shop smart, buy kitchen gadgets for your modern kitchen for easy execution, and cook efficiently. Use your leftovers, incorporate them into other recipes and make them new. Did this article spark up some interesting ideas for your future meals? Let us know. Also, we respect each and every working parent that is working their way for the kids. We see you, we hear you. Now, let’s get prepping!