By: Wendy Kuchnicki, Independent Director – Pampered Chef
Back to school this year may not be the same as it has been in years past, but one thing is still the same – the change in routine can make mealtimes throughout the day challenging. Whether your kids are remote learning or on a hybrid schedule, getting everyone something healthy to eat all day long (especially of you are working from home!) might require a few extra minutes (or hours) in your day. Here are some recipes and cooking tips that will help you eat healthy even if everyone is grabbing and going on different schedules throughout the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but can also be the easiest to skip. Try prepping ahead for breakfast so there are always a healthy “grab and go” option for when you are rolling out of bed to jump onto your video conference class or meeting. Homemade protein bars or Mini Frittatas made with ingredients you like in a Brownie Pan or muffin tin can last for a few days in the refrigerator and are heated up quickly in the microwave. Try a fresh omlet or homemade oatmeal each morning in the Ceramic Egg Cooker, it’s done in 2-3 minutes in the microwave and you can take it with you! It’s easy to make granola or frozen fruit and yogurt bars in the Snack Bar Maker, you can either bake or freeze right in the silicone molds then use the lid to store the leftovers. Not only will your family eat healthier but you will also save money by making your own instead of buying premade breakfast products. This is one of my favorite protein-packed breakfast bars, and you can use alternate nut butters or sunflower seed butter with these Flourless Oatmeal Bars.
Lunchtime can present many challenges when juggling work and school schedules. When your child’s school lunch is at 11 am and they have to be back by 11:45, but your work day lunch hour starts at noon it’s tough to make sure everyone is eating healthy. Try this yummy recipe for Breakfast Taco Roll-Ups – you can mix up the ingredients to make your own favorites! Here is another fun idea – a Lunchtime Snack Board! Put out one or two family favorite fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs along with a dip to make a fun meal or snack throughout the day! Try the same with sandwiches and keep a platter in the fridge with a couple of meats, cheeses, breads and toppings so everyone can quickly make their own. When you prepare your grocery list ask everyone in your family to pick out a couple of foods to add to the boards, and you can mix it up each week so lunchtime doesn’t get boring!
One pot meals are my go-to for busy weeknight dinners, and I love to make big batches so I have leftovers for lunch the next day. Soups, stews, chili and casseroles make great leftovers because they reheat quickly on the stove or in the microwave and usually taste better after they have been sitting in the fridge. Your slow cooker and Quick Cooker are your power tools for one pot meals. They plug in, are on a timer, and once you fill the pot they cook themselves without stirring or open flames. You can even fill the pot ahead of time and keep it in the fridge overnight before cooking the next day. When your family is eating in shifts these appliances also keep dinner warm until everyone has eaten. Try using a Ceramic Pot in your Quick Cooker so you can cook two different foods at the same time, such as Quick Cooker Chicken Teriyaki and Rice or Quick Cooker Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes. Need some family time after a long week? Try a family pizza night! Put out everyone’s favorite toppings and make your own personal pizzas. You can save time by buying premade dough from the supermarket or from your local pizzeria.
Preparing fresh meals at home doesn’t have to be challenging, it just requires a little planning. However, the benefits of cooking at home are worth it. You will save money, know what ingredients are in your meals, and best of all you will be sharing some additional quality time with your family when everyone pitches in!
Read more about Wendy here:
Wendy Kuchnicki - Piscataway Chapter Member
Pampered Chef - Independent Consultant
I am your go-to kitchen guru for all of your cooking challenges! I provide all of the kitchen tools and recipes as well as tips and tricks to help you quickly and easily get a healthy meal on the table. You can order products direct from my web site, or host a fun gathering with your friends and get a free shopping spree as well as reduced price products for your own kitchen! Host in your own home and I'll bring my kitchen products and teach you how to make a new recipe that you and your guests can sample, or host an on-line party while I demonstrate the products live from my kitchen! I am available to answer questions about the products or provide recipes for all of my customers.
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