Is this the cry in your home as you walk in the door after a long day at work? Here are a few ideas to assist with having a healthy meal without spending hours in the kitchen. And, without a lot of expense of buying prepared or take-out food. Caution: It does take a little pre-planning time.
- Make a list before going to the grocery store. This list should include all you will need to make meals for at least a week. Some items can be used for more than one meal. For example, you may cook chicken breasts for one meal but have enough left over to make chicken tacos or chicken casserole for a meal later in the week. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months. I sometimes freeze my leftover meat or vegetables if I only have a small amount and then make soup at a later date.
- Have nutritious snacks available before the meal. Whole or cut-up fruits and vegetables are great before the meal and will not spoil the appetite. Keep washed, cut-up fruits or vegetables in the refrigerator for quick use.
- Start with a salad before the main meal is ready to serve. Doing so will add a healthy dose of vegetables to the meal, and salads can be easy to prepare.
- Prepare the main dish the night before or use a slow cooker. This way you can plan ahead and not be stressed at the last minute. You can find ideas here: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html
By planning meals ahead of time you won’t be as tempted to pick up something on the way home. You will know what is planned for dinner! What ideas work for you? Please share with us.
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewer: Joanna Rini, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County, email@example.com
Ohioline, Refrigerator Storage, http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5403.pdf