5 Tips for Quick Weeknight Meals
By Lisa Ciotoli RD
Lisa Ciotoli is a Registered Dietitian with Loblaw Companies Limited.
It’s not always easy getting dinner ready during the week when you are juggling work, kids activities and sports, the gym, etc. Preparing quick and easy weeknight meals without compromising nutrition is possible with a bit of planning. Employing some simple meal planning strategies will take you from stressed and unprepared to confident and creative in the kitchen! Here are 5 shortcuts to your favourite family meals:
- Map out your week! – Think about the week ahead and make note of the evenings you have other activities going on such as sports, the gym, family or friend gatherings, or a late work night. Knowing the days you will have less time to prepare food is key to managing your time and reducing stress. Those will be the nights you might want to plan for a quick meal or rely on a leftover meal from earlier in the week. Planning can take the thinking and stress out of mealtimes./li>
- Adopt a “cook once, eat twice” rule – Plan to make a little extra each time you cook to carry over to the next day or to portion and freeze for later in your week. This is a great strategy to reduce to the amount of time you spend cooking and to prepare for those busy weeknights!
- Keep it simple and use only one kitchen device – Instead of boiling, baking, slow cooking, microwaving, blending all at the same time, try to plan meals that only use one piece of kitchen equipment plus your cutting board. Keep it simple and prepare a one pot meal such as chili or stew. You can also try a sheet pan or slow cooker meal.
- Re-imagine your leftovers – If your family absolutely loves chicken, then take some time to think of all the ways you can use chicken in your meals. Some examples might include chicken fajitas, chicken pizza, chicken salad, chicken noodle soup or chicken wraps. If you have made some extra chicken, you now have many quick meal ideas you can create with the leftovers that everyone will love.
- Get everyone involved – Giving everyone a job in the kitchen is a sure way to get dinner on the table as fast as possible. Your family can participate in all areas from planning to shopping to meal preparation. Give your kids age-appropriate tasks such as washing fruits and vegetables, tearing the lettuce for salad, or mixing.
Planning quick, nutritious dinners can be easy with some planning and working together as a family to get the job done!
Are you looking to help optimize your health and nutrition through what you eat and drink? Registered Dietitian services are available through Shoppers Drug Mart at www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/dietitians. Book your personalized nutrition appointment today.
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. Please note: Dietitian services are currently only available in select Ontario stores. Please contact your store to learn more. ®/TM 911979 Alberta Ltd. ©2020 Shoppers Drug Mart Inc