Menu planning seems like quite a tedious chore, apart from special occasions when you have guests over for dinner. Especially after a long day at work, planning a tasty and nutritious meal might land up on the bottom of your priority list. Finally, it is either leftover night or you need to take your family to eat out. If this scenario sounds familiar then, you need to do some menu planning right away. Menu planning is easy, saves you time and money and your family will always eat healthy and delicious meal.
Shop with a list. Shop with your meal plan in mind, so that you’re not buying random items. Always keep staples on hand, and check your menu plan for the additional items you will need for the upcoming week. If you have no time to go grocery shopping, or want to avoid chaotic trips with the kids, try a delivery service like Peapod. Many Baltimore area residents are able to use Peapod, a popular online grocery shopping and delivery service in the Baltimore/DC area.
So how do you avoid common kitchen hazards, especially for children? As valuable as tactile experiences are for appreciation of nutritious foods, when children are helping you in the kitchen, it takes only one unguarded moment for an accident to occur. Injuries and potential food poisoning are less likely if you adhere to the following sage advice.
You can make each dinner unique by changing the recipe a little. If you cook up enough beef stew for two meals, you can add biscuits to one and bake it in the oven before freezing. Another idea is to cook up large quantities of hamburger at once and freeze it as it is – just crumbled burger. You can thaw it in the microwave while you make the rest of the meal. Chop up vegetables and put them in storage bags for easy meal prep desert during the week. If you want to go all out, get the entire family together on the project and spend the day making enough dinner food for the entire work week. Before you start, make certain you have enough storage containers and plastic freezer bags.
Redo your dairy products to decrease fat and calories. Opt for lower fat or fat free milk, yogurt, cheese and sour cream. By replacing full fat dairy products you will lose calories and fat but still benefit from the protein and calcium your body needs. You can also choose artificial sweeteners for yogurt and cut your yogurt calories in half.
Freeze some — but not all — of your produce. If you find a great buy on some produce — think low-water, starchy veggies like corn and potatoes — you can indeed freeze them and extend their shelf life up to 6 to 8 months. But think twice about freezing high-water fruits like watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, or cabbage, since they’ll just turn mushy.
If you clean as you go in your kitchen and try to keep it organized, you will have a cleaner kitchen without a lot of work. Once you do the hard job of making your space efficient for your lifestyle, keeping it clean is just a matter of cleaning up after you use it.