If you have a busy life, juggling work, childcare and other responsibilities, you probably want family meals to be as quick and easy as possible. Most busy families at some point start to notice that they repeat the same few meals over and over because they are things that don’t take long to cook, are cheap, and they know the kids will enjoy them. But this can mean that our diets are bland, we aren’t eating a healthy variety, we aren’t helping our kids to form positive relationships with food, and we are lacking important nutrients. Here’s how to add some variety to your family meal plans.
Enjoy a Takeaway Night
Takeaways are fun, social, enjoyable, and easy. If you are very busy and can’t commit to cooking every night, adding a takeaway here and there is a great way to introduce more variety. The good news is, takeaway food doesn’t have to be greasy and unhealthy. Restaurants like urban-tandoor.com offer a range of meals using fresh ingredients, and there are always ways to enjoy healthier takeaways.
Add Lots of Colour
If we were to commit to making sure all of our meals had the right number of calories, met all of our nutritional needs, and contained the macro-nutrients that we need, we’d spend hours meal planning with a calculator.
An easier way to add both variety and nutrition is to add colour. Colourful foods tend to be fresh, flavoursome, and healthy. Adding colour to all of your meals, and making an effort to eat the rainbow can be a great idea.
Welcome Theme Nights
Theme nights are one of the easiest ways to add new meals and new ingredients without having to spend a long time looking for new ideas. Introduce pizza night, where you make your own pizzas and add different toppings, world food night where you try something brand new, and crazy tea night when you eat a fun picnic of things that you love but wouldn’t usually have together.
Saving leftovers from meals to turn them into another, different meal another day is a great way to save money and time and reduce waste. Turn leftover Bolognese into the filling for a lasagne. Leftover pasta can become a pasta bake and leftover chilli is great in burritos.
Talk About Food
Talk to your friends and family about food. Ask what they are having for dinner and about their favourite meals and copy their ideas if you are stuck on what to eat.
Enjoy Eating Out
Eating out can be another great way to discover new foods and cuisines and to get some ideas of things that you could recreate at home for your family. Try different restaurants and try to avoid ordering things that you already make for yourself.
Adding variety to your family’s diet has a huge range of benefits. It helps you to encourage healthy eating, and your children to develop lifelong good habits with food. It increases nutrition and can make family meals more enjoyable. It’s certainly worth trying to introduce new meals and flavours to reap these benefits and more.