Welcome to “A Virtual Q&A with Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacists”! Join our pharmacists as they answer your questions on various health and medication topics.
How can I make family dinners easy when school starts?
One of the things that families struggle the most when school starts is how to put together a family dinner with everyone's busy schedules. The tips that I'm going to share today are helpful not only for back to school dinners but all year round. First and foremost, you want to get ahead with your weekly menu by meal planning. Spending just 30 minutes on a weekend to plan the week ahead can make a huge difference during the week. It gives you the opportunity to look and see which nights are super busy and require minimal prep versus those other nights where perhaps there's a little bit more time to plan a more involved dinner. If you need some inspiration, themed nights are really great for creativity. For example: pasta night or kids choice night and so on. Make sure to display this weekly menu somewhere where everyone can see it. This helps keep everyone on the same page for what's for dinner. For busy nights where time is limited, sheet pan dinners are fantastic. Simply just roast some vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, along with some potatoes and chicken breasts all in the same pan and pop that in the oven. Breakfast for dinner is also a really super quick meal that often goes well on those busy nights. Just remember to add some vegetables on the side, like sautéed mushrooms or sliced avocado and tomato. Meal plans can be saved and recycled, mix and match meals or simply reuse a previous weekly meal plan. Your menu that you create, also use this to make your grocery store list to minimize frequent trips to the grocery store during the week. A few other time- savers when putting away your groceries are things like washing and tearing your greens for salads, storing them in plastic bags with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh and crisp. Wash your vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, to save this extra step during the week. Cut up fruit, like melon and pineapple, and store these in containers ready to eat. Peel and slice onions, chop up celery, peel your garlic and any other vegetables that you plan to use for your evening meals. Lastly, if you have time consider doing a bit of batch cooking on the weekend to save some extra time during the week. You could grill meat, cook some ground beef, even roast a chicken. Batch cooking several different meals on the weekend means you'll have some leftovers that you can use for lunches or repurposed during the week for dinners. So as you can see, the main thing here is taking some time in advance to prepare for your week ahead. While this is unnecessarily new advice, it's often very undervalued. Trust me, you will thank yourself on those busy school nights if you just take these few extra steps on the weekend to plan your week ahead.
The information provided is for personal use, reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific information on personal health matters.
This information included in this recording is correct as of July 22, 2020.