Preparing all three meals during the school season can be difficult with working parents and busy school days. Therefore it’s important to prepare in advance to make sure your kiddos get healthy meals. School breakfasts and lunches are getting more healthy but the cost over time can get expensive. Try some of these Shop RTO tips and recipe ideas to make meals fresher, easier and more affordable.
Spend Sundays or whichever free day you have to prepare large quantities of quality cooked meals to refrigerate or freeze for the following weeks. Try to avoid store bought frozen foods.
When cooking, make sure to involve your children as much as possible so they learn how to prepare for their own dishes as well. And, you’ll be certain to cook them the way they like it. Hopefully you’ll get to a point when all family members cook thus meals will always be prepared.
You also need to be prepared to store them. Buy a set of washable, plastic containers that can be used over and over again. Make sure they’re big enough for a meal serving and in the size that is good for transporting in your bag. If your meal will be in a hot bag for more than two hours, buy re-freezable ice packs. If the meal is going to be at room temperature for a couple of hours then you should be fine.
Easy takes are raisins, apples, berries, granola, dry cereal, apple chips and crackers. Throw them in as part of the meal and done.
As far as prepared dishes, soups, pizza, spaghetti, beans and chilli are great choices and can be easy. Pizza crusts can be bought at the store. Tomato sauce is easy to prepare then store bought cheese and vegetables. Cook that pizza(s) for 20 minutes let cool then slice up for easy transport.
Spaghetti or pasta can host a variety of vegetables. People think spaghetti can only have meatballs and tomato sauce but far from true. Chop up and cook the vegetables into the tomato sauce for flavor or flavor them on the side then throw into the sauce. If you want to fool your children while providing fresh vegetables, zip up a variety of vegetables in a food blender to fine bits or pulp so they don’t know it’s there while getting the vitamins.
If they’re really anti-veg, make sure they don’t see you blending the vegetables because if the child associates veggies as bad, they will automatically associate that dish as bad. That trick can be done with chilli, soup and sauces. And it works well. I’ve seen dozens of my nieces, nephews, their friends and my child eat these dishes free of vegetables (so they think) while getting all of the veggie vitamins they need.
Chilli and soups can be filled with all sorts of vegetables and is easy to freeze for later uses. With soups and chilli, you can cook in a large pot to store and/or freeze many batches. Lasagna is a good dish to prepare as one batch can provide many meals. The only problem with lasagna, it can take longer to prepare than other meals.
Home made pinto or black beans are great for protein and can also host a variety of fresh vegetables. Beans can be blended to create beans for burritos, chalupas and nachos for easy, quick and fresh dinners as well. Each of these dishes are traditionally garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions and peppers. If you cook a big pot of beans then use a several cups to put into a batch of chilli to further make the chilli fresh.
Sandwiches are also quick and easy. Cook some chicken breast in advance and flavor according to the taste of the child which is why your kids should be in there helping out. The fresh chicken has way less nitrates than the sliced chicken in the bag at the store and chicken is an easy dish to prepare. Sandwiches are also great to be stacked with fresh pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and peppers. Try using fresh spinach to replace lettuce. It tastes the same and is waaay more nutritious.
Try not to use mustard, mayonnaise or any spread as they are just full of calories with little or no nutritional value. And, spoil more easily. That’s why it is important to cook flavorful chicken from the get go.
These are just a few tips but the point is to think of dishes you can make in large quantity, full of vitamins and easy to prepare for any meal. And! Make sure your children are involved in the cooking. They get what they like. They learn a valuable skill. Help the family out and create a family experience.
Just another ShopRTO be safe and home lifestyle tips.