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Dinner in Express

The air is chilly, it's time for homework, and your commute has you exhausted and home late. On top of that, your whole house is starving! So, what's for dinner? This is really not the best time to plan dinner. This is when it's easy to grab fast food, order a pizza, or order takeout. We all have those days, but home cooked meals are lower in sodium, fat, and can be healthier and less expensive. Here are my tips for getting well-balanced healthy meals on the table in a jiffy!

  • Have a menu in mind every week and post it on the refrigerator or board. Having no idea what dinner will be for the week is not the forward way to do things. When my kids were young, I made it a habit to post the weekly menu based on what foods were available. Knowing what’s for dinner in the morning also mean you can put frozen meats in the refrigerator for thawing or marinade the entrée. Solicit input from your pickiest eater to make everyone feel like they are a part of the decision. Try some online recipe Apps. My favorites are: Yummly, Allrecipes and Pinterest. All that you have to do is type in an ingredient and get some quick dinner ideas.

  • Use the Crockpot

  • Prep a few things, put the slow cooker on, and dinner will be done when you get home. Don’t you feel so accomplished when that happens?

  • The power pressure cookers are amazing

    • Love that I can get a meal cooked in half the time. One pot meals are simple and quick. For example, try chili, stews, and meat with potatoes.

  • Try batch cooking some items or meal prep

    • It’s winter and soups and chili are great comfort foods that are always great to have on hand. You will almost always find some homemade soups in my refrigerator or even the freezer. Reheated soup with panini or salads are a great meal.

  • Leftovers rule!!

    • Meats can be chopped, while veggies and leftover grains can make great tacos, grain bowls, burritos, and stir-fry’s.

  • Try a dinner meal service that include items you prepare or meals already done for you.

    • You may think its expensive, but it may fit into your budget if you cut back on dining out.

Eating together and being relaxed enough to enjoy the meal creates a pleasant and happy experience. A balanced meal includes lean protein, healthy grains and plenty of veggies. Kids should be in the habit of drinking water or milk with dinner instead of sweetened beverages or juices.

The new year is a great time to change the dinner plan to healthy. It is the number one stumbling block to many families eating healthy. This year, make it about preparation and you will soon be a master at having a nice meal on most nights.

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