All busy mums know that one of the potentially most stressful parts of their day can be getting home, preparing dinner and making sure the kids eat a healthy meal before bedtime. It is virtually impossible to prepare a meal from scratch with hectic demands and schedules, some mums can find there just isn’t enough time in the day. With a bit of preparation and planning to account for a busy schedule, you can make wholesome and nutritious meals your kids can heat up themselves. The biggest challenge is making sure that your kids are getting all the right nutrients and healthy ingredients they need in a meal they will really enjoy, and won’t spoil if it is kept in the freezer or fridge for later.
Bitter broccoli or brown avocado can make a child head for the snack cupboard at mealtimes. Stews and casseroles are excellent; they freeze well, heat up well and you can use just about anything, even nutritious veggies disguised in a thick, yummy sauce. Stews and casseroles are great on the family grocery budget; it’s a bit of a pot luck thing, and you can use up what you have in the house already without having to shop for extra ingredients.
What many busy mums do is make a big batch at a time. This may sound way too organised, but it’s really very easy. Even if the meal is not finished they can be frozen it in smaller portions making perfect for kids to heat up and eat straight away the day after. Sausage casserole freezes really well and if you make small, individual portions and take them out in the morning to thaw on your way to work, all you have to do is add some fresh peas to the plate while the delicious meal heats up in the oven.
Fresh Fish Parcels
Fresh fish parcels prepared and frozen for later are a fun, novel way to have a delicious meal for one in a jiffy. Cut up fresh portions of fish and place on a large sheet of foil, folded double on each edge like an envelope. Add ribbons of onions, leeks, mushrooms, some garlic, courgettes, tomatoes or carrots, to the portion. Fold the foil over, like an envelope, and write on it in permanent marker: Fish – 15 minutes – Date of preparation and pop it in the freezer. They can follow it up with a lemon cheesecake from the fridge for dessert.
Kids can choose which one they like, pop their meal in the oven, and because fish cooks really quickly, it won’t take long at all. The double folds on the foils will stop the delicious saucy bits from running out and you can have a full meal in a matter of minutes. Just be careful when opening the foil, the steam can be extremely hot.
These meals are the perfect addition for busy mums and hungry kids to add to the fridge and offer a nutritious and delicious option.