January is a great time to revamp your family meals.
Military families are often very busy and eating healthy meals together should be one thing we all fit in time for.
Many people have New Year’s resolutions to be healthier. I’m one of those and you probably are as well. Being healthy starts in the kitchen with good food to fuel your body. Here are 10 tips to help your busy family eat healthy meals together.
10 Ways Busy Military Families Can Eat Healthy Meals Together
Plan your meals for the week. Consider what activities your family has going on during the week so you know how much time you have to cook and eat a healthy meal.
Buy fresh ingredients. Try to do your grocery shopping along the outer rim of the commissary where all the fresh ingredients are. Stay away from sugary, high sodium and high fat products masked by clever marketing on boxed goods in the center aisles.
Try a home delivery service such as Blue Apron or have your groceries delivered to your home from your local grocery store. There will be periods where you don’t have time to run to the commissary. There will be moments where you run out of ideas of what to cook. In these instances, a home delivery service can be a great option for healthy meals that you can make at home.
Cook together. This is especially important for children. Research has shown that children eat healthier when they are part of the cooking process. They are also more likely to try new things and they build confidence in the kitchen while learning new skills.
Use your Crockpot or Instapot. Both of these are game changers for busy military families. You don’t always have time to cook healthy meals on busy nights. This is when planning ahead comes into play. When your family has a lot going on, a Crockpot or Instapot dinner can save the day and your sanity.
Shake things up. Eat on the patio if it’s a nice night. Make a picnic in the living room one afternoon. Pack a lunch and go to the park.
Make time to eat healthy meals together. You might all have different activities going on, but you still have to eat. Try to schedule dinner at a time that everyone can be together. This might mean that on one day you eat at 4 p.m. and on another you don’t eat until 7 p.m. Many families do that.
It’s eating together that is important, not the time that you eat dinner.
Dinner time is a special time where family members get to catch up on each other’s day.
Try new things. We all get into the rut of making the same things over and over again. I have an entire bookshelf of cookbooks but find myself making the same recipes. Recently I’ve started watching cooking videos on Facebook as well as looking up recipes on Pinterest. Pick up a new cookbook, ask friends for recipes or look up new meal ideas online.
Do a recipe swap with friends. This goes along with trying new things. I’ve been in groups that have made cookbooks. See if one of the clubs your child is in has made one. Talk to your friends or coworkers and see if they would like to swap healthy recipes. You can make your own file or download a recipe app for your phone.
Commit to eating healthy meals. All of the tips above mean nothing if you don’t actually follow through. Sure it’s OK to go out to eat every now and again or to have a night you order pizza in. Don’t let that turn into a habit. Remember your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy meals and to be a healthier person.