If you are like most families, you feel pressed for time when it comes to making meals. And most busy families nowadays indulge in unhealthy, processed fast foods. So, even the best parenting advice from friends and relatives can’t break a fast food habit ingrained in a family’s culture. After shuffling the children from school to recreational activities and parent-teacher conferences, you likely feel like fast food is the solution. However, one alternative is to prepare healthy one-bowl meals.
A quick and easy solution to fast food is to create hot dinner bowls that are easy to reheat when your children want dinner. Depending on your child’s preference, choose their favorite vegetables, starch and protein sources. Also, you can often buy reusable bowls with lids for easy freezing or refrigeration.
When and How to Prepare One-Bowl Meals
Most people have more time on their hands on the weekend. So, take some time during your day off or a weekend day to prepare your one-bowl meals. Just chop up the vegetables, cook the meat and choose the herb or flavor sauce for each bowl. By preparing food in bulk, you’ll save time during your hectic week. But, make sure to write a grocery list and shop for all the needed ingredients ahead of time.
Experiment with Flavors First
Before making a week’s worth of bowls for your children, figure out which homemade recipes appeal to them. Does your child prefer chicken? What are their favorite vegetables? And what about sweets? Some pre-planning helps when making meals in a bowl.
Even if you are a health-conscience mother, you can still treat your children to small dessert portions. Fruit often makes the best dessert ingredient, so think in terms of fresh strawberries over biscuits, and peach or blackberry cobblers.
Choosing the Best Flavor Combinations for One-Bowl Meals
Again, choose starches, vegetables and protein for the meal bowls. For the best nutrition, opt for quinoa instead of white rice, spinach fettuccine instead of white pasta, and sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Some ideas for vegetables include green beans, corn, broccoli, peas or zucchini. For the protein, make homemade chicken nuggets using a corn flake crust, turkey or chicken breasts.
For picky children, make macaroni and cheese, sneaking in vegetables by making a cheese and vegetable puree. A good flavor mix would include zucchini, meat sauce and vegetable pasta sprinkled with cheese. The best thing about one-bowl meals is you can be as creative as you want.
While cooking more for your children, you will likely run across hot meal bowls that also help you lose weight and feel more energetic. The best meal preparation parenting advice or busy moms is to ditch the fast food after filling your freezer with healthful homemade bowls. With a few minutes in the microwave, the pre-cooked meal bowls are ready to eat.