Thursday 26 June 2014

Take Five: How to Cook Speedier, Wholesome Family Meals.

Cooking nutritious meals for your family needn’t be hassle.  With a bit of planning and preparation it’s easy for you and your family to sit down and enjoy a meal time without you having to slave away for hours beforehand.  Here are five handy tips to make that happen:

Stock up on the basics
Staple foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, lentils and cous cous can be bought in bulk and stored for a long time.  Using these staples with one type of meat and a couple of different vegetables can give you fifteen different varieties of meal, reducing the chorus of ‘I’m bored with this, we’ve already had it this week’ from your kids.

Use a slow cooker
One of the best means of preparing soups and casseroles, or even a dessert, is with a slow cooker.  Leave the food to tenderise on a long, low heat and serve up when you get in.  Practical and versatile, they’re money well spent if you want tasty teatimes.

Image by Robbert van der Steeg, used under Creative Commons licence. 

Try out various sauces and spices to add flavour to your dishes.  Covering your meals in a white sauce or tasty tomato sauce is a great way for your children to consume the dreaded greens without them knowing!

Get the balance right
Try to balance the nutritional content of the meals.  They should be low in sugar, salt and fat and medium in protein and carbohydrate.  Check the labels of anything you buy to ensure they don’t have a high content of the bad stuff.  You may be surprised by the amount of sugar or salt that some products such as soup or yogurt contain.

Make the most of your freezer
Although pre-packed frozen convenience foods are expensive and not particularly good for you, your freezer can still be your family’s friend.  Batch cook on a weekend and freeze portions for later.  Stews, chillies, curries, baked products and fruits can all be frozen.  Not only does this mean that your food will last longer, but having cooked it in batches means you’ll have already done the hard work when you come home. Simply defrost and heat up and you have a sumptuous meal in minutes.


Follow these five simple tips and you can expect to save a lot of time, money and trouble.  Get the children involved too to teach them valuable life skills, while having fun with food.  Who knows, there might be a time when you come home from work to discover that they’ve remembered everything you’ve shown them and prepared a nutritious and delicious meal just for you!

*  Collaborative post *

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