Homemade foods have always been healthier than processed, prepared, or restaurant meals which are generally much higher in fat, salt and calories than home-cooked foods. Eating too much of these unhealthy foods can pack on the Holiday pounds and slow your kids down at school.
But let’s face it, the days leading up to the holidays are hectic.
Getting a home-cooked dinner on the table during the holidays may seem to be an impossible feat, but here are few tips to ease the burden of getting dinner on the table during the hectic holiday season:
1) Get friends involved. The holidays are a great time to entertain with friends. Make dinner at home a reason to get together. Team up with a friend and have a family dinner at their house one night and switch to your house on another. Divide the menu between families and have each family bring a dish. [Like this idea? Share it on twitter by clicking HERE!]
2) Get the kids in the kitchen. The Holidays are a great time to make family memories. Get closer to your kids. Invite them into the kitchen and teach them a few things about cooking. It’s a life skill that they will certainly thank you for some day. Some of the meals you make together can become family traditions for Holidays to come!
3) Get a slow cooker. This is a fabulous machine for busy families on-the-go. A slow cooker allows you to make simple, one-dish meals in a snap. Simply prep the ingredients in the morning, turn the slow cooker on and come home to a delicious ready-to- eat dinner.
4) Stop and freeze. Make foods in advance and freeze them in family sizes and individual servings too. Have some fun and cook with a friend, double each other’s recipes, and split up the meals for both families.
5) Get pre-washed when possible. The clean and prep is often the most time consuming part of cooking. Buy pre-washed veggies in the produce section of stores. The “open and steam” convenience of these pre-washed products is great.
6) Get “no cook” sides. Apples, pears, avocadoes, tomatoes are just few foods that don’t need to be cooked and taste great all by themselves. A fruit or veggie plate makes a terrific side dish.
7) Plan for leftovers. Don’t spend all your time in the kitchen cooking just one big feast. Make enough food to make several “leftover meals”.
Get more tips for the holidays at our For Fathers section. Happy cooking…and Happy Holidays!
Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning "So Easy Baby Food Kit," and author of the "So Easy Baby Food" and the new book "So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years." Visit Cheryl at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @FreshBabyBiz.