Meal Planning for Parents
Planning a meal can be tough — especially when you add kids into the mix.
Planning meals ahead of time is a valuable part of your daily life because it allows you to pick your meals with just the right level of nutrition, affordability and preference. But while it may be one thing to meal prep for yourself or your spouse, choosing the proper foods for your children can be even more challenging.
If the thought of prepping lunches and snacks for your child is already making you reach for the change in your purse instead, it doesn’t have to. In fact, planning meals can be both fun and rewarding for children and parents. Just be sure to check out our simple tips and tricks to make mealtime as stress-free and simple as possible:
Coordinate by Color
For ease of snack and meal preparations, use different colored containers for each. For instance, you might want to designate blue containers for lunches, green containers for after-school snacks and so on.
If your containers are clear, try color-coding by lid color or even adding some Washi tape to make things easier to find. Not only will this help keep your meals organized but also will save you valuable time when you’re in a hurry, too.
Skip the Planning
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to pack a lunch for your kid. Parenting can be hectic, and it isn’t always easy to make a meal in a matter of seconds when you already have one foot out the door. For less stressful meal planning, opt to give your child lunch money on those days instead.
A simple way to reduce the pressure of consistent meal planning is to plan one day off each week. Have your child or children buy lunch at school once per week and use that day to prepare for the other days instead.
Enlist a Set of Helping Hands
Having a set of helping hands in the kitchen is always welcome — especially when it comes to cooking meals for picky eaters.
If you have fussy children who are less than thrilled about the food items you prepare, enlist their help in the kitchen and give them the freedom to have more say in what goes into their lunchbox every day. Make lunch packing a hands-on experience and add a little fun. For instance, you might try engaging their visual sense by using fun-shaped cutters when slicing sandwiches or fruit. No matter what, you’ll enjoy the extra set of helping hands during meal prep, and your children will love creating their meals, too.
Prep Your Snacks the Night Before
You can’t meal prep without a bit of, well, preparation! One of the most valuable meal planning tips is to make your meals and snacks ahead of time, to guarantee quick and hassle-free lunch packing when you’re in a hurry.
Put together nutritious lunches and snacks, such as our quick sausage recipes like Premio Sausage Apple Pockets, the night before. Remember to make most of your meals finger-foods that your child can easily eat without making a mess throughout the day at school. Opt for tasty sandwiches, spreads and meats, fruits and veggies, etc.
Remember to buy real Italian sausage whenever your child’s meals call for a delicious and mouth-watering meat. Use our store locator to find a provider nearest you for the fresh and authentic flavor of Premio Sausage.