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Quick and healthy meal ideas for busy parents


 There is a misconception among parents that preparing healthy and delicious food is very difficult. Above all, it takes a long time. But there are healthy fast food out there, too. It's true that cooking at home can take a little longer, compared to opening pre-packaged foods and putting them in the microwave. But by dedicating some time each week to planning and organizing, it is possible to prepare quick, healthy and delicious meals for the whole family.


So what's the best way to make quick meals for your family? First, it is important to get over the idea that it is too difficult. We think food is worth investing some time in, but that doesn't mean you have to prepare three delicious and complex meals every day. It's time to say goodbye to the "I wish I could, but I can't" attitude toward healthy eating.


One useful method that will always make things easier is "cooking in portions". This approach essentially means setting aside one afternoon a week (for example, on Sunday) for meal prep. Then you can put what you prepared in the lunch boxes throughout the week into different groups. This method has many advantages: you can save time, and you can prepare a nutritious home-cooked meal in just a few minutes. And don't forget that little plus - you won't be spending money on unhealthy products.


Steamed vegetables (try adding them to omelets or soups) are an example of a meal ingredient. There are also cereals, which you can mix with vegetables or mix chickpeas to make a delicious breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs make any salad or sandwich more delicious, and whole grains, like rice, are one of the most versatile ingredients in all kinds of kid-friendly meals. Anything that's easy to reheat, such as tomato sauce and baked potatoes, is a good option. Put these essentials in the fridge at the weekend, and you'll be able to spend your time doing other things during the week. And when the family is hungry, you will have quick meals for dinner then.


It takes some time and planning to replace fast food with healthier alternatives. One strategy you can use before you start cooking in batches is to plan your weekly menu in advance. Before shopping, sit down and plan what you will cook that week. The menu should include vegetables, greens, fruits, dried grains, brown rice and a wide variety of seeds (sesame, sunflower... they provide vital nutrition, and besides, they are delicious). It is good to have nuts and olives for snacks, and canned fish and high-quality olive oil will complete your shopping cart. A full pantry and fridge are busy parents' best friends, and planning what to buy in advance will help prevent junk food from entering your home.


It can be difficult at first to combine these basics to make complete meals. However, it is key to a healthy, balanced diet that includes vegetables, grains, legumes and animal protein, such as eggs, fish or chicken, once a day. And you'll find that all it takes is a few minutes on the stove for a hot, delicious and healthy meal.