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Author Topic: Finding time to cook healthy meals/snacks  (Read 7803 times)
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« on: February 17, 2013, 05:03:16 PM »

Hey smile we all know the importance of providing healthy food to our children but I am still guilty of giving them small amounts of junk food purely because finding the time to cook from scratch is difficult!  It's not so bad at the moment as I am on maternity leave until July but once I return to uni, I have no idea how I'm going to fit everything in.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions of snacks and meals that are quick and healthy to prepare?  I have just bought a slow cooker which I plan to use for our evening meals, I thought it would be really useful to come home to a ready cooked meal smile 

Also, my youngest can't have dairy or soya (nightmare!) which is a bit of a pain but on the bright side, it will ensure that I am cooking meals from scratch - the amount of food products that contain dairy is unreal!!

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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 07:17:36 AM »

Totally understand!

From experience though -- (we do not buy any prepared food because of health concerns and my allergies) - Cooking in bulk and freezing home made meals saves tons of time! We do it all the time - soups, cooked vegetable dishes, custom lasagna (we do not eat lactose-containing food), spaghetti sous, shepherds pie, pumpkin pudding, you name it!

Another similar little "trick" we do -- on the day when we do our meal prep ( usually after shopping), puting together various meal size fresh snacks in the fridge. I would put little portions of snap peas and carrots, celery sticks and oranges, crackers and cashew butter, etc and then when I need them -- they are there.

Also shopping in bulk, making simple meal ideas and listing on your bulletin board or frige different food choices available on a whim takes lots of guess work and unnecessary time wasting.

Slow cooker is also a good idea, although we do not use it a lot, you need to make sure that what you are making is safe to slow cook, especially so with legumes, as some of the legumes have to be cooked on high temperature (which is not reached in slow cooker) in order to get rid of some toxic substances, -- simply look into it, and you can just adjust your process.

Also, healthy snacks go much further and your LO would not get hungry as fast  yes  Since you do diary and soy free ( it is generally good to abstain from soy anyways, since 90% of it is GMO, and generally it is preferable to eat fermented soy products), you can use coconut milk for cooking and even to make your own coconut kefir ( extremely healthy and probiotic!)

These are just a few ideas to get you started, hope these help!

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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 08:03:49 AM »

I like this site where some nice recipes are given.

I think the site provides variety of food that you can make quickly and easily in less time.Also it gives a healthy and yummy recipe. smile
Hope you like it smile

If you like the above mentioned site i could get you some more easy recipes smile

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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »

You could look into paleo recipies, there are so many and some of them are a doddle. I'm a big fan of keeping junk food as treats, not snacks. I've found the easiest way to do this is to keep them for after supper if given at all. In the day snacks consist only of fruit or veg (chopped carrots are a favourite here). That way I don't have to worry about them pigging out on biscuits and other junk food and not eating their meals - because often their snacks are healthier than their meals so they can pig out all they want.

There is nothing easier than handing a kid an apple or a carrot, little to no prep needed. It also means that once they get used to it we don't get cries for 'sweets', 'sweets' 'sweets', because the only time they'll get something similar to that would be for pudding after their supper if they eat all their veg (but often they are equally happy with sliced bannana as they are with icecream, so I just give them that).

Oh and a tip - according to some of my kids chopping up an apple immediantly turns it from a snack into a treat, so a popular pudding for lunch here is chopped apple and cheese, or for your dairy kid maybe chopped apple and raisins.

- Oh, and for meals. I eat paleo which is an easy way to cook from scratch and know you are eating healthy. You can go all out, but the simplist thing to do is get some meat, get some veg, wack it together (maybe using the slow cooker) and you are done. You can add spices or sauce if you want. And the idea that someone mentioned of making prepared meals and putting them in the freezer is a good idea.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 11:25:36 AM by MissCaden » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 04:19:31 PM »

Привет! Моему малышу год и я кормлю его сырой едой (сыроеденье) и грудным молоком. Считаю особенно полезным кашу из семян льна: размачиваю в питьевой воде часа 3 а потом смалываю блендерэм и добавляю для сладости какой-нибудь фрукт который он любит в данный момент. Получается очень полезно и вкусно! smile

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 01:06:33 PM »


We use a pressure cooker at home (being of Indian ethnicity, it's a must in every household). Pressure cookers usually come with inserts that can be stacked and used to seperate items. This is quite handy as we tend to cook lentils, rice etc. at one go and it hardly takes time. Also, pressure cooking means that the vitamins and nutrients are preserved.

My daughter has dairy allergy as well, I source non-dairy alternative from for things like coconut yoghurt, non-dairy/non-soy cheese etc. Perhaps you can find something similar in your location?

On weekends, we tend to keep a few of the staple veges chopped and ready in freezer bags, so we don't waste time chopping up things in the evening when we need to get something ready quickly.

I got ideas from Carol Timperley's recipe book, and its been really helpful. Wholesomebabyfood (mentioned earlier by someone else) is also quite good.

Hope this helps.


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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 02:31:26 PM »

Привет! Моему малышу год и я кормлю его сырой едой (сыроеденье) и грудным молоком. Считаю особенно полезным кашу из семян льна: размачиваю в питьевой воде часа 3 а потом смалываю блендерэм и добавляю для сладости какой-нибудь фрукт который он любит в данный момент. Получается очень полезно и вкусно! smile

Мы использовали семена льна в его еду совсем немного, и он любил их


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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 03:53:49 PM »

Here we do the same as Skylark: cooking in bulk and then freezing in small containers. We do this generally on weekends.


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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 11:37:04 PM »

We definitely struggle with finding the time too, especially on days when I work. We only shop on the weekend, so I struggle to come up with meals on Friday's especially when the fresh food is dwindling

- could you try prepping the food the night before after the kids are in bed - eg cut all the vegies, meat and put in containers/bags
- on the weekend, make up a big batch of food that will do for Monday night too
- also make sauces on the weekend and freeze. Then during the week you can cook some pasta and vegies in the same pot, defrost the sauce and it's done
- agree with the slow cooker - it's great during winter and you can use cheaper cuts of meat
- bbq and salad's are good in summer
- eggs are quick to cook
- make a list of quick meal ideas and refer to them when you are struggling. Oh and meal plan for the week, so you know exactly what has to be done and if you can prepare ahead of time etc
- agree with chopped fruit for snacks, also veg sticks and hommus are great too

good luck with it all and going back to uni!

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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 04:00:46 AM »

I always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies on hand. My girls love to eat them and it helps make any meal healthier, as well as serve as a snack on it's own. Simple and tasty!! My girls also like to dip their veggies on occasion: bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cherry tomatoes, ect. in a dip or hummus. Yum, they love it!


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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 01:04:46 AM »

I struggle to cook from scratch while finding the time to teach my kids. I just can't seem to fit being a Doman Mom with being the Mom that cooks all food from scratch. On days on do both, I lose my sanity. So, to keep my sanity I have cut myself some slack.

 On days  I cook from scratch, such as baking bread, making soup stocks, fermenting food, etc. I do try to make one fresh meal and one frozen meal. I also have my kids help. Even the 2 year old can stir or mix or locate utensils. I have cook days about 3 days a week. On these days, I do no Doman activities. None. If I try, it isn't joyful or happy. So, I figure my kids cooking and learning about nutrition is good enough.

On teaching days, I do not really cook. I use the frozen food and other items I have prepped on cooking days. If we have none left, I reach for a box of something or the telephone (pizza). How often does tht happen? I usually have one easy preboxed less than healthy something every month in anticipation of needing it.  I order pizza every few months. We rarely verging on never eat out.

Is this ideal - not really, but it seems the best I can manage. A year ago I was trying to do it all, but often found myself miserable and frustrated. I would love to have it all every day, but my reality is I can't. At best I can have 2 out of 3. My choices are Doman, cook, and my sanity. I like my sanity and I alternate between food and teaching.

Lowering my standards and allowing myself an easy day every once in while means I have the energy to cook from scratch the rest of the time.

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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 01:19:11 AM »

I like that Khatty, it's good idea to freeze meals for later. And there is not enough time in the day to do everything. I find myself getting overwhelmed when I try to do it all, as well. Some days we don't eat as healthy as I would like, some days our learning time is cut, some days I am behind on housework, alas, we try to do our best every day and that is more than good enough! I can see the benefits in my children from raising them with healthy organic eating and early learning! So I must be doing a good enough job, no need to stress yourself and your family.


“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to teach child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.” - Maria Montessori
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