Here at Tommy’s we completely understand what a challenge it can be to cook a meal on a busy weeknight. Between working late, picking the kids up from after-school activities or sports practice, and juggling a variety of household “to dos,” it can be very tempting to sacrifice a healthy meal at home for a quick bite at a drive through. However, we believe that eating a well-balanced diet is very important, and eating together as a family equally important, so we’ve pulled together a list of helpful hints and tips for making the dinner-hour a little bit easier to manage.
Tips for Cooking Meals When You’re Busy
- Keep it simple. A family meal on a busy weeknight can be healthy and delicious but not take long to prepare. Complement a quick pasta main course with vegetable side dishes and a mixture of yogurt and berries for dessert.
- On a night when you have extra time, prepare extra servings or double batches that you can package and freeze for a super fast “reheat and serve” meal.
- Plan your meals for the week in advance. That way you’ll pick up what you need when grocery shopping and have your ingredients in place for cooking.
- Stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry with quick-to-prepare items like pasta, stir-fry noodles, frozen fruits and veggies, canned beans, quinoa, vegetable or chicken broth. You can use them as building blocks for a delicious, easy to prepare meal. See our article to learn more!
- Learn to love the slow cooker! When you’re going to be in a rush, the trusty slow cooker becomes your personal, at-home chef. Whether it’s vegetarian chili or a hearty beef stew, cooking a meal on a slow simmer while you’re at work means dinner is ready when you come home hungry!
- Find the time to do some preparation on the weekends. Whether it’s chopping veggies, parboiling potatoes or carrots, or cooking up a giant pot of tomato sauce when you get a jump-start on preparing meals, you’ll have everything needed and ready to go on the weeknight when you have less time.
- Remember, you don’t have to make everything from scratch! Some pre-packaged products are healthy, delicious and help to cut down on preparation time! Whether it’s frozen fruits or vegetables, premade pizza dough, or bottled broths or sauces, these convenience items can be a big help when it’s time for dinner.
- And don’t forget, family mealtime doesn’t have to be dinner! Maybe breakfast works better in your house or Sunday brunch. Be flexible and open and find a time that works best for everyone in your family.
It’s Worth It!
Preparing family meals isn’t always easy, but having time together as a family is worth the effort. Whether your children are toddlers, teens, or adults, sharing a meal and enjoying light, meaningful conversation is truly comforting. Mealtime can become a cherished tradition for the whole family, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that family members will want to pitch-in and help with menu planning, shopping, preparing, and clean-up!
At Tommy’s, we believe that frozen vegetables offer a convenient way to prepare a quick and easy meal for yourself or your family, and that’s why we make the freshest, Non-GMO Project verified vegetable medleys. If you are looking for recipe suggestions, visit our blog to get inspired! Once you try a few, let us know what you think by posting in the comments or sharing with us on social media.