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Here are some great easy shortcuts for fast weeknight meals for busy parents. When you are juggling work, kids, school and after school activities it can be tough to manage meals for the whole family every night. Getting food on the table easily each night is important for the whole family to run smoothly. Nobody likes a stressed out mom, or a hungry crew of kids. These tips are sure to help with both.
Prep veggies ahead of time. Instead of just tossing in the fridge or freezer when you get home, go ahead and prep your vegetables in advance. You can slice, dice and shop then store in freezer bags for later. Being able to just grab a bag of already sliced onions will help you quickly throw together a meal in minutes. Prep time often takes a significant amount of your evening meal preparation time.
Cook meats before you freeze. When you buy meat in bulk at discounted prices you should cook it in advance so you can easily add to meals. This works great for whole chickens you can shred and bag into portions, as well as ground meats you can cook and season simply then add to dishes like spaghetti, tacos and casseroles. Having meat already cooked to simply add into your dishes quickly will cut back on cook time and save tons of time on your weeknight.
Create freezer meals. Freezer meals are one of the best and easiest shortcuts for fast weeknight meals. You have to do a lot of prep in advance, but once you spend a day creating multiple freezer meals you won’t have to do anything other than toss them into the oven or slow cooker each evening.
Cook double batches for multiple meals. This may be the easiest of all suggestions. When cooking, make sure to double batches so you can feed your family for more than one meal. It is usually quite easy to make enough for two nights. If your family doesn’t like to eat the same thing multiple days in a row, you can easily portion and freeze for a quick weeknight meal later on that month.
Utilize your slow cooker. A slow cooker is great for meats, soups and many pasta dishes. You can add your meal to the slow cooker in the morning, and let it cook all day. No tending a stove or oven with this. There are multiple varieties out there that are excellent for small dishes, big casseroles or even the compartmentalized type that allows you to cook more than one dish at once.
Make semi-homemade meals. Let’s face it, if you work full time, have kids and deal with any extra curricular programs you have to do some ready made foods from time to time. While you want to make everything from scratch for the best health benefits, there are times when semi-homemade is the way to go. Just make sure those packaged items you use are healthier. Pasta and organic sauces for quick cooking meals are excellent. Ready made salads, veggie stir-fry blends or even the occasional sandwich night are all acceptable.
These easy shortcuts for fast weeknight meals can fit into anyone’s meal plan. From saving time to saving money, you can easily manage to change your weeknight meal situation. There is no need to worry, get overwhelmed or be stressed about what your family is eating.