Need to get a healthy dinner on the table fast? Try one or more of these 5 dinnertime shortcuts to streamline your next family meal.
Thank you to Cans Get You Cooking for sponsoring this post!
If there’s a theme that’s been shining bright through the last few weeks on the blog it’s been easy, fast meals. I may not be juggling after school activities or morning drop-off like many of you, but I’m juggling potty training and nursing schedules. Both are time consuming, and often result in the 6pm dinnertime scramble. To prepare for both the expected and unexpected at dinnertime, I’ve put together a few of my favorite pointers for making dinner happen—- amidst the chaos of raising a healthy family!
Double one recipe each week. If you have lots of hungry bellies to fill and a busy schedule to abide by, stretch a recipe out as long as possible. Leftovers will be your best friend and biggest time saver of all. In an ideal world, a fresh home cooked meal is served on the table every night. In my world, that doesn’t happen. Whether it was cooked today or yesterday, the homemade sentiment still counts so cut yourself some slack and utilize your microwave and refrigerator.
Sometimes when I know the oven will be on for roasting one veg, I’ll decide to roast another for dinner the following evening.
Save time with canned foods. There’s no need to cut the corn off the cob, hydrate beans, or dice tomatoes when you can buy it already done for you. Canned foods mean less prep and year-round availability, making healthy, homemade meals a reality, more often. Canned foods also help you change-up or boost the nutrition to a recipe that’s easily improvised, such as adding canned beans or corn to one of my family’s favorite recipes, Chicken Taco Bowls. Because fruits and vegetables destined for canning are picked at their peak of ripeness, nutrition is comparable to fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better.
Make a list of family favorites. And make sure it’s easily accessible! So whether it’s on your phone, your bulletin board, or pantry cupboard, you can easily reference it for mealtime inspiration when the dinnertime scramble hits. That’s essentially what I did with this post of easy, no-recipe meals. For my family I know it’s tacos, spaghetti, grilled burgers, and tortilla soup! Oh, and pizza night!
Keep staples stocked at all times: If you’re like me, certain foods and drinks are on every shopping list no matter what, like milk, baby carrots and cereal. Stocking up the pantry – or what I call my “cantry” – is a great way of making sure healthy foods are readily available when I need them, or if my best intentions at meal planning have gone awry. My go-to recipes frequently call for canned artichokes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, so I always keep those on-hand.
Utilize your slow cooker. Before you rush out the door, take about 10 minutes to prepare the meal in your slow cooker and come home to a ready-to-eat meal in the evening. I love using my slow cooker for one big reason: my kids get HANGRY as soon as dinnertime hits. What’s with the chaos that comes with toddlers and the moment I turn on the stove or oven?!
I’d love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve for getting a meal [whether that be breakfast, lunch, or dinner] on the table FAST! We are in this thing called “motherhood” together, and I know I can learn a few things from you too!Pressed for time and energy?! Get a healthy dinner on the table fast with 1 of these 5 shortcuts! Click To Tweet
Disclosure: I am proud to partner with Cans Get You Cooking to bring you healthy recipes that are both kid tested and parent approved. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own. For more delicious and nutritious recipes using canned food products, be sure to visit the Cans Get You Cooking website.