It’s 5pm – time to start the daily dinner dance. What’s on the menu for tonight? If you’re like me, you haven’t had time to sort out dinner which means you’re probably standing in the kitchen looking at a pantry of uncooked foods and a freezer of frozen meat.
Do you go with the quick-and-easy carb-fuelled pasta again or give in to Uber Eats? Sure, takeaway sounds tempting and much better than actually cooking, but they’re not really the healthy meals you’re after. And we’re trying to eat better this year, aren’t we?
Never fear busy mums. You can enjoy healthy, fresh dinners even if you don’t have the time to cook. In fact, you don’t even have to set foot in the kitchen during your crazy weekday!
We’ve got three easy ways to make healthy meals happen for brekkie, lunch, and dinner too, ensuring you never have to stand in front of a slab of frozen meat at 5pm ever again.
1. Plan a bulk cook day
One weekend, one kitchen, one mission: to make as many frozen meals as you can. Send the kids to the grandparents and hit the store with a list of all the ingredients. Make sure you buy heaps of veggies to grate and throw into the meals – carrot, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, corn and lentils.
Then, unload your ingredients, crank the tunes and cook. You’ll be surprised at how many meals and freezable snacks you can prepare in a day or two (and without distraction). I do this every so often and can easily make 10+ family-sized dinners plus muffins and savoury snacks for lunches too.
What kind of meals can you make and freeze?
- Casseroles and Stews
- Pasta dishes inc Lasagne
- Shepherd’s pie
- Savoury muffins and quiches
You’ve got a freezer full of healthy meals. All you have to do when you get home is defrost and enjoy.
2. Try a delivery service
Don’t have the time to bulk cook? A meal delivery service is an easy way to get fresh, healthy meals for your family. Some companies deliver the ingredients and you cook the meals while others deliver the meals already cooked. If you are looking for the latter option, and want one that specialises in healthy meals, then you can’t go past Chefgood.
Healthy meals for busy mums delivered to your door
Chefgood’s meal plans are healthy with a capital H and include options for mums looking to lose weight (Slim & Trim) looking to maintain their weight (Train & Tone) or a vegetarian option (Vegetarian). They have meal plans for lunches and dinners or breastfast, lunches and dinners and you don’t have to do any meal preparation.
They also have a cool Mix&Match plan that allows you to customise your options more. You can choose to only have dinners, or only lunches, a mixture of both. You even have the option to add brekkie or snacks too.
Of all the meal service plans out there, we like this one because it is so focussed on healthy, wholesome meals for busy mums. Best of all it’s really easy to use and starts at under $10 per meal.
Once you choose your meals from the 50+ options on their website, the Chefgood team whips up your healthy meals in their Melbourne kitchen. They’re then delivered to your door … it’s like having a personal chef but without the huge overheads.
Perfect for busy parents
On those days when you can’t find the motivation to cook a healthy meal and the kids are more than happy with a simple dinner option, pop out a Chefgood meal for yourself from the fridge and heat it up. No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no dishes! #winning.
It’s a pretty cool idea too, especially for mums who want healthy food choices but don’t have the time to cook them every day of the week. It’s also great if you have a family with very different meal requirements. Say one teenager insists on being vegetarian and the other is a carnivore. Or if you want to eat fewer calories and the kids will ONLY eat pasta. Adding in a meal service like Chefgood means you won’t have to slave away cooking two or three separate dinners.
They come pre-packaged and ready to heat up for brekkie, lunch and/or dinner. So whether it’s 5am, 1pm or 5pm, you just pull one out and dig in. Too easy.
You can learn more about the meal options and how it works on the Chefgood website.
3. Swap meals with like-minded mates
Another fun option if you have other mums who want healthy meals without the battle is to plan a meal swap.
How it works
It’s actually super easy. Get six other mums in on the plan and choose a dish each will cook. We always start a Facebook group to chat about it so we know we’re not doubling up on the meals.
Each person in the meal swap group prepares one bulk cook-up of a healthy family-friendly dish. I would suggest making the meal on the weekend when you have a little time to get dirty in the kitchen.
Dish up your meal into seven portions and set a date to catch up with everyone and hand out the various meals. It’s a great excuse to catch-up too.
You get seven healthy meals but you really only had to buy the ingredients and cook one. Plus, you get to try new dishes, flavours and recipes cooked by someone else, which, let’s face it, always taste so much better!
So, there you go – three tips to ensure healthy meals every day of the week. Plus you still don’t have to set foot in the kitchen over your busy week!
A little bit of organisation goes a long way, so plan a weekend to bulk cook, gather some friends to do a swap and head to ChefGood to see if their healthy meal plans are something that would work for your busy schedule.