30 April 2010

Best of Parent Hacks: Time-saving tips for healthy family meals

The sun's coming out, and my already low motivation to cook is sinking even lower. I want to be outside in the late afternoon playing, not slaving over a hot stove! Over the weekend, I want to be at the park, not the grocery store!

But people still gotta eat. And when I get organized about the process, I remember that not only do I love to eat, I also love to cook.

Do you need a little inspiration? If did, so I've started compiling a list of all the hacks devoted to quick, easy, healthy family meals...shopping, prepping, cooking, you name it. The list will grow as I dive more deeply into the archives and as more family feeding hacks come in. But in the meantime, I give you...

Time-saving tips for healthy family meals

Your comments

Feed Follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have a dry erase month-long calendar on my fridge. Every week, I (with the kids' help) decide what to make for dinner according to the day of the week it is. Tuesday is Scout night so dinner is a "quick" fix, Wednesday someone works so I don't have to make as big a meal, etc, etc.

This helps in four ways:
*Grocery lists go much faster because I just write down what I need to buy to make each meal, therefore I spend less at the store--and don't forget anything.
*I don't get the "What's for dinner" every ten minutes, I tell them to look at the menu, and since the kids offered their opinions dinner is never something they don't like.
*There's no scramble to defrost hamburger or chicken at 5:00 because I've already done it at 8am.
*I don't end up making the same meals every week. You don't realize how often you make spaghetti/hamburgers/meatloaf until it's on the calendar three times in four weeks!

I also have a list of about 50 meals divided into three groups depending on prep/cook times. When we get stuck on a couple meals, we get that list out and more often then not I hear, "We haven't had that in while, let's make it!"

I do the weekly meal planning and it is a lifesaver. I love Heidi's idea to have a list of meals by prep/cook times and refer to that! I've just been keeping previous week's meals and going back to that but it's a lot less organized!

What great posts, Carrie Anne! I'll promote one up front so everyone can check it out.

We close comments after a month to guard against spam. Want to talk about this hack? Join us on Twitter and Facebook!

 

Free updates

  • Subscribers are my VIPs. My weekly newsletter includes a personal update, the latest from Parent Hacks, interesting links and news.

    Subscribers also get priority event invitations and occasional surprises via snail mail.

Asha's Book

  • At Amazon: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

    Find out why doing less is the key to resourceful, thriving kids, and a calmer, happier YOU.

    Minimalist Parenting is an encouraging roadmap for decluttering your schedule, your home, and your vision for family life. Reviewers call it "a much welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice."

    Learn More at Amazon

    Also available at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local bookstore.

New Book Coming Soon!

  • Coming soon: Parent Hacks Book

Start Amazon shopping here