Being a parent means trying to keep your cool while multitasking and wearing a lot of different hats. Chef, caretaker, mediator, housekeeper, entertainer - there’s a never ending to-do list for the modern day parent. There’s plenty of life hacks when it comes to getting back some of your precious time, and a great place to start is in the kitchen. Whether you have a champion eater or a fussy little one, serving healthy and nutritional meals is absolutely imperative for optimal growth and development.
Trial and error is a part of creating great food habits for children. Getting them to help in the kitchen, teaching them about different foods, and letting them try different textures and flavours are just a few ways you can inspire healthy habits. It’s all about engaging them in the process and making it fun. Read on for a bunch of fantastic ideas for quick at home meals that not only kids, but the whole family will love and busy parents can make ahead of time.
The importance of meal prepping
It doesn’t take much to be time-poor these days, especially if you’re a parent. Juggling work, school run, social commitments, self care and the long list of activities the kids have on a weekly basis can be overwhelming. For those of you who are flat out or feeling uninspired, meal prep will be a life changer. Putting aside time when the kids are in bed, or at Saturday morning sport to plan out a week of meals can make all the difference when it comes to feeling more organised. Maximise the hours in your week and check out our favourite recipes for busy parents.
4 quick and easy meal prepping recipes for busy parents
A hit with the little kids and big kids, there are so many wonderful smoothies recipes that are super nutritious and very tasty. Portion out all of your favourite ingredients like berries, spinach, mint, cucumber or melon into a ziplock bag and chuck them in the freezer. This makes it super easy to whip out and throw in the blender with milk, yoghurt, shredded coconut, chia seeds, peanut butter, honey or whatever you fancy. If you’re looking for an extra boost for the kids’ nutrition, try out new Kid-Pow Shakes that are low in sugar and packed with essential vitamins and minerals, probiotics, calcium and protein.
This is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into yours and your kids' diets. Simply grate zucchini and carrot into a bowl, with corn kernels and slices of red peppers, mix with eggs and flour of your choice until it is a cake mixture consistency. Transfer to a lined oven tray and top with a bit of tasty cheese or feta before baking for 20 mins in a 180 degree oven. These are delicious and easy to portion up for lunchboxes or at home snacks and they freeze really well too.
No matter whether you like bolognese, tomato, pesto or ratatouille, pasta sauces made in bulk and frozen in portions are always great to have in the freezer. For a quick no fuss mid-week crowd pleaser of a meal, just defrost some sauce and throw on a pot of pasta. These sauces are also great on hand to have when it’s Friday pizza night!
Here’s one you can get creative with. All you need is your oven, a saucepan and a steamer and you’re ready to prep your bowls. Layer quinoa, brown rice, and salad leaves at the bottom of the container or bowl and build from there. Things like roasted veg, corn, steamed greens, pineapple, and beetroot are great topping options. Finish off with your choice of protein like tofu, chicken or tuna and you’ve got a very healthy meal for the whole family to enjoy.
We promise you won’t be disappointed with our busy parent recipes, give them a try today and remember to be creative. The beauty of meal prepping will become apparent the more you commit to it as a part of your routine. Your little ones may be fussy, but it’s always a great idea to introduce them to as many new foods as early as possible - they will be eating all your favourite foods in no time and you know what that means - less cooking and mess for you. For convenience when you’re on the run and with a variety of textures and flavours, keep a selection of Funch DIY snack mixes or purees in your cupboard.