- Planning and making meals together can double as bonding time
- Having nutritious meal and snack components on-hand makes it easy to assemble flavourful meals and grab quick and delicious snacks
1. Make meal planning and preparation a bonding activity
These days, it’s especially important to find creative ways to boost our mood, which is extra important for our health.Bonding around meal preparation with others in our household can help. Call in your family members, even kids, to participate and provide ideas to share the load. This is also a great way for your kids to discover new ingredients while having fun and to be more open to trying new foods!
To add more fun and enrich the cooking experience:
- Listen to your favorite music together;
- Make it a day - start by buying fresh, wholesome ingredients;
- Get inspired – find the perfect recipe, or the perfect ingredient that everyone will be excited about!
- Involve everyone! Get the kids involved in washing the fruits and vegetables, measuring out the ingredients, grating the cheese
Looking for a nutritious dessert for tonight? Try this super-easy peach and yogurt parfait.
2. Stoke your creativity and make restaurant favourites at home
Cooking at home doesn’t have to be boring or complicated. You can find ways to incorporate all your favourite foods in your menus, even restaurant favourites. Love pasta? Try out this nutritious spaghetti with zucchini, sundried tomatoes and yogurt. Fan of dinner bowls? Try out this amazing Buddha bowl. Crazy for poke? Making it at home is simpler than you think. And with meals like poke, you can have it twice in the same week simply by switching out the main protein food and the sauce for a completely different flavour. Key ingredients can be used for multiple dishes, for example, cheese can go in a burrito bowl and also on toast. You don’t need to eat the same thing all week. Batch cook your favourites and adjust them slightly with different toppings, sauces and sides to keep things interesting.
3. Keep wholesome staples on hand for quick meals that nourish
Simplify your life by having meal components on hand in the fridge, the freezer and the pantry. In the fridge, staples like milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, washed and chopped-up leafy greens or veggies etc. can be used for many recipes. In the freezer, keeping things like cooked quinoa, pitas, cooked rice, along with proportioned meat and poultry can save a lot of time. And in the pantry, you should have items such as pasta, chickpeas, beans, tuna and rice along with oils, vinegars and your favourite condiments. This simple bean and barley greek salad or this flavourful curry chickpea pasta salad are easy to prepare in a flash with the right ingredients in your pantry and fridge!
4. Keep snack boredom at bay with satisfying, healthful options
Proteins play a key role in satiety (the feeling of fullness after eating) and they are essential to health at every age. Consuming enough protein is important to build and maintain healthy muscles and healthy bones. Including protein at every meal and snack helps you feel more satisfied throughout the day, which can help curb cravings for less nutritious foods. Breakfast and lunch can often lack in protein, which can make you feel hungry after the meal in no time. Make sure to always keep protein-packed foods available in the fridge, freezer and pantry, like fresh or frozen meat, fish and poultry, milk, cheese and yogurt, eggs, legumes and nuts. You’ll simply love this Ricotta and grilled tandoori chicken sandwich, perfect for lunch or a family picnic.
Dips with a yogurt or hummus base can keep hunger at bay, like this rainy-day spinach dip. Who said dips are just for veggies? Try this ginger lemon fruit dip with seasonal fresh cut fruit. Have containers of washed and pre-cut fruit and vegetables in the fridge for nutritious snacks prepared in no time. A handful of nuts or cheese cubes and crackers are also quick and satisfying options. Or whip up a smoothie with milk, berries and yogurt, just like this strawberry-orange sunburst smoothie.