Time and time again, our clients proclaim the same barrier to healthy eating- I have no time! From busy work and school schedules, to traffic delays, or the kids’ extracurricular activities and the list goes on. The fact you have made time to see a Dietitian or read this blog is a miracle in itself!
While we can’t produce time out of thin air, we can introduce you to batch cooking.
Batch cooking is a great activity to stretch your time and your food dollar budget. It reduces the set up and clean-up which generally monopolizes your precious time. Who really wants to do another dish at the end of the day?
Before you start, having the correct tools on hand is key.
• 1 set of measuring cups
• 1 set of measuring spoons
• 1 paring knife
• 1 chopping knife
• 2 cutting boards (especially if using raw meat)
• Ziploc® Bags – large and extra-large freezer safe
• Tupperware® containers varying sizes for lunch and dinner meals
• 1 roll of masking tape
• 1 sharpie marker
Note: store them in one cupboard or pack them into a tote for easy access.
Now that you have the tools on hand, what can you batch cook? The ideas really are endless; you can make chilli, soup, sauces, casseroles, muffins, loaves, waffles, hardboiled eggs, mini egg frittatas… any dish the family likes. Instead of making enough for 2 or 4 people, double or triple the recipe and freeze in pre-portioned containers for a later date. Batch cooking also works great for baby food!
Another way to stretch your time is to involve a friend or two in the process. Designate 1 recipe to each person and watch how your cooking time yields 2, 3 possibly 4 different dishes, keeping you and your family from becoming bored of the same dish every week.
If you still think that batch cooking isn’t for you, but would like to yield the benefit, there are many companies in the Edmonton area that can help you along the way. The best thing about a “meal prep” business is you can either prepare the dishes yourself and make it a night out with a friend, or if cooking doesn’t interest you at all, simply pick up one of their pre-made dish on the way home!
We are talking meal planning on our Facebook page throughout May. Check out what we’ve discussed so far and please share your tips too!