Summer’s nearing its end, kids are going back to school, and then what happens? Most families have less time to make dinner.
You might already be hearing the nightly question “What’s for dinner?” at your house. Don’t have the answer? Don’t worry. Preparing healthy meals the whole family will love doesn’t have to be complicated. If you remember to keep them simple, prep ahead of time and plan for busy schedules, it can be a snap to put dinner on the table.
Here are 10 tips that will solve your dinner dilemmas and keep family time around the table an important part of your household routine:
Plan the week’s meals. Planning ahead lowers stress. Plus, the time you take to plan your family’s weekly meals is well spent. Sit down with an easy meal planner or just good old fashioned pen and paper. Write down ideas for balanced meals. Pick a day and make it a habit. Try these apps if you need a little help: Cozi, Meal Builder, Noom, Meal Board.
Keep it simple. New to planning meals? Then just focus on planning one serving from each of the five food groups (grains, fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy) every meal. This will help you keep balance, variety and nutrition in mind.
Make a go-to recipe collection. Create a spreadsheet of go-to recipes your family loves. Add new meals when you find easy, delicious and healthy ones you want to keep and make again. Staying organized keeps ideas and recipes at your fingertips — and saves time and anxiety.
Shop smart. Make your grocery list based on the meals you have planned. This helps you avoid impulse buys, stick to your budget and nix those extra trips to the store for forgotten items.