Five (5) simple rules for creating quick, healthy, and stress-free dishes for the family

Hello everyone!

When there's a lot to do and not enough time to do it, the prospect of preparing quick and healthy meals for the family can be a daunting task. We can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things that we need to do, but rather than thinking that we need to cook a certain type of food, it's far better to step back and establish a key set of rules that can prioritise efficiency without compromising on everyone's nutrition. So, let me show you some of the key ways to create quick and healthy dishes to simplify that culinary journey and make your life easier at the same time!

People around a Table With Food
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Prioritise the planning stage

The first rule is to make sure that you plan properly. You should take a few moments at the beginning of each week to outline a menu and, therefore, prepare a shopping list that will streamline the cooking process. Look at the things that can incorporate the variety and nutritional balance you need while also ensuring you can do things within budget. 

This can be where you benefit from looking at the days when you are too busy and incorporating a meal that is quick and effortless to prepare. For example, this chicken enchilada soup recipe from Healthy Fitness Meals can be cooked in an instant pot or can be left to cook overnight. Additionally, the benefit of having a large meal like soup is that you can add extras to it, like in the dish above, which makes it feel like something else that you can all benefit from throughout the week. But when you prioritise the planning stage, it gives you that all-essential focus to ensure that you are doing what you can to bring variety and nutrition to the forefront.

Incorporate batch cooking

This is one of the most essential rules for efficiency in the kitchen. Preparing a meal from scratch every single day is incredibly time-consuming. Cooking meals in large quantities and storing them up for future use will save time and mean that over a month if you can build up a day here and there where you can batch cook when there are hectic schedules, you know you will have something nutritional, and you don't then feel the temptation to go for fast food! 

While we might not always have the opportunity to batch cook during the week, it is always worth having a Saturday or a Sunday at home where you can do these things, and it also allows you the opportunity to spend some proper time with the family. We all can feel that there is something to do constantly, and therefore prioritising time at home can also mean we can put a few meals in the oven to portion up and freeze to make life easier further down the line.

Streamlining the cooking techniques

Simplicity is key. We never need to overcomplicate things, especially when we're trying to create quick and healthy family meals. You can purchase pre-cut and packaged stir-fry ingredients that require five or ten minutes in a wok. You should also focus on minimising preparation and cooking time, for example, by roasting or grilling. A crockpot or slow cooker is also an amazing way to whip up flavorful meals efficiently.

Pick nutrient-dense ingredients

Winning the battle for a quick and healthy family meal is about opting for whole foods that provide a diverse nutritional punch. It's the usual suspects: whole grains, lean proteins, and lots of leafy greens. This is why soups are always victorious in terms of nutrients, as you can blitz up so many different vegetables and proteins into one single nourishing dish.

Emphasise quick and healthy snacking

We should also remember that when on the hunt for quick and healthy family meals, we can't overlook the importance of snacks. There will be times when we are running late after picking up the kids, and they will say that they are starving, which could add to the stress of the situation. Therefore, having a stock of readily available snacks can curb hunger in between meals for your kids and yourself!

Your health is vital, and you need to look after it, which is why creating quick and healthy dishes for the family is not just about what meals you're going to make but also about the cooking techniques, the timetable, and looking at what type of ingredients are easy and effective to prepare. We all need a few guidelines and can benefit from making things easier, so follow these rules and you will see a major difference.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, take care.



I'm a vegan with a passion for sustainability and clean, cruelty-free products. I mainly write lifestyle, wellness and self-care articles. Since I'm a true crime enthusiast, sometimes I also write about true crime and post videos on my two YouTube channels.

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