Family life is often busy, with barely a moment to spare. For some hectic households, family meals can be few and far between and while making do or grabbing a bite on the go may be indicative of modern life, snacking and skipping meals can lead to unhealthy eating habits.
By adopting bad eating habits, your children may miss out on essential nutrients. As such, it’s important to make regular, balanced meals part of your daily routine. Dinnertime needn’t be difficult though, and the following top tips are guaranteed to help make family meals easy and inexpensive.
Breakfast is best
Sticking to regular mealtimes not only eliminates the temptation to snack, it also creates a reassuring routine. The best way to start the day is with a healthy, balanced breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day and helps to give the body an all-important boost.
Enjoy eating together
Children learn by example and enjoying mealtimes together is the ideal way to instil good eating habits. Turn off the TV and take the time to talk to one another. If it’s not logistically viable to eat together at every mealtime, try to set aside a particular day that’s dedicated to your nearest and dearest.
Plan meals and save pennies
When doing the weekly shop, planning ahead can help to save pennies so make a meal plan for the week and watch your ingredients go further. Bulk cook and freeze portions for later in the week and remember that it’s perfectly possible to enjoy essential nutrients without purchasing fresh produce.
Canned, dried and frozen foods can all be just as healthy as fresh produce – not to mention easy to prepare and long-lasting. They also reduce the risk of waste and save you time and money.
Similarly, swapping traditional homemade roast spuds for easy to cook oven versions such as McCain roast potatoes can make cooking a Sunday roast a doddle. Classic family meals become even easier to prepare with these crispy roast potatoes – giving your kid the nutrients they need without handcuffing you to the oven for the entire afternoon.
Get your tots involved at teatime
Allow your children to get involved at dinnertime and encourage their input. From laying the table to deciding what to have for dinner, your children’s involvement and interest will make mealtimes much easier for all involved and ensure that they’re ready and eager to eat the second you dish up.