What’s for dinner tonight? This impending question renders parents frozen, and if not prepared can involve a) giving in to fast food, or b) giving in to the kids! As the school year quickly approaches, and daily schedules grow tighter, be prepared for this question every night with easy, healthy answers the whole family will love.
1. Frozen Vegetables
Easy and healthy dinner trick number one includes always having tons of frozen vegetables. This ensures vegetables can be a part of every meal, even if you did not have time to buy fresh this week. Stock up in advance, and have a variety such as broccoli, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, etc. Dig deep in that freezer section! You will be surprised with the types of vegetables you can buy frozen.
Always have pasta in the pantry; it makes a great base for whatever else you have on hand. Try to buy whole grain pasta on sale, and stock up on various fun shapes to keep the kids engaged.
3. Pre-Cooked Frozen Chicken
Taking a close look into your grocer’s freezer may reveal bags of frozen, pre-cooked chicken strips. These strips are easily heated up in a pan on your stove top in 5-7 minutes.
Stocking up on cans of various beans is easy, healthy dinner trick. Beans provide a healthy source of protein when chicken is not available.
Pilaf is a great alternative to rice, and often you can find it in various flavors. Cooking pilaf is simple and takes only 20 minutes.
6. Frozen Dough
In the freezer section of your grocery store, you should be able to find balls of frozen pizza dough. Look for whole wheat as well. Stock up on balls of dough and keep them frozen until you are ready to use them. Take one out the morning you plan to use it, and let if defrost on the counter.
Making homemade pizzas is not only healthy, but a fun way to get kids involved in cooking. While the oven is pre-heating to 475, work the dough into a flat shape on a pizza stone or foil-lined and greased pan. Top with sauce, frozen veggies, and shredded cheese. Leave in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.
These are all non-perishable or frozen items that, if you stock you pantry and freezer, will enable you to always prepare a easy and healthy dinner for your family. Pasta with vegetables and beans. Pasta with vegetables and chicken. Pilaf with vegetables. Pilaf with chicken. Pizza with vegetables. The list can go on and on. When all else fails, and time is not on your side, these meals can save you from falling into the fast food trap.