Finding the drive to prepare an extravagant supper can be the last thing you want to do when you get home following a long day at work. Finding a menu to prepare is a source of concern in and of itself: According to a survey conducted in 2022 by the sales and marketing company Acosta, 56 percent of Americans found it difficult to arrange their daily meals.
Nonetheless, research has showed that most people prefer to continue chowing down on home-cooked meals as consuming most of our meals at home became the standard throughout the pandemic. In fact, by 2023, almost 90% of millennials will be preparing their own meals. Yet now that the holiday season is in full swing and days are growing busier than ever, finding a way to put dinner on the table without interfering with your sacred bedtime routine or raising your stress levels is unquestionably a top priority.
Check out these five easy tips to follow right below.
1. Have prepped meals ready to go in the fridge
Chef Admony believes that short meals don’t have to sacrifice flavor or nutrition. For this reason, he joined with Cook Unity, a subscription-based food business that sends chef-crafted meals straight to your home. She explains that her children get home from school between three and four, and that most days, neither she nor her husband are there yet. So, they can easily reheat one of these packs in the microwave if they’re very hungry. Admony uses this method as one of several to ensure that her family always has quick and simple access to scrumptious meals without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
2. Cook in large batches
Admony claims that many chefs can feel too exhausted to prepare at home after a long shift at the restaurant (i.e., more than they already did all day). She suggests batch cooking as a quick fix to reduce the stress of weeknight meal preparation after a long day. Every week, Admony advises making five different foods, freezing them, or storing them in containers. She claims that all you need is a vacuum sealer and some bags to effectively preserve the food and prevent rotting. Also, this approach will take up less space in your freezer (by removing all the excess air trapped in food-safe storage bags).
3. Sneak nutritious ingredients into every meal
Admony inserts vegetables into almost every meal she prepares for her family to make it as nutrient-dense as possible. Do you know how many zucchinis my kids have eaten without even realizing it? They always claim to despise the vegetable. This is an easy—and occasionally brilliant—way to guarantee that you and your family regularly consume a variety of nutrients.
4. Make sure the meals you plan to make fit your lifestyle needs
While choosing what to prepare at home, Feller advises taking your lifestyle needs into account. “I always take budgets, access, someone’s employment situations, their family—just the full picture—into mind when we’re thinking about how to effectively stock that pantry,” Feller adds. The ideal way to approach nutrition is to begin by realizing that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach because everyone’s bodies, lifestyles, cultures, taste preferences, and other factors are unique in their own unique ways. Finding a solid balance between these individual components can support making cooking at home as practical, effective, and nutrient-dense as possible as we all strive to balance the various facets of our busy life.
5. Stock up on a solid variety of foods
Feller advises keeping a large supply of a range of foods on hand to make sure your meals are as adaptable and nutritious as possible. “Peruse the whole store. The perimeter, the center aisles, and the freezer aisles are included when I refer to the entire store. I’m discussing everything. And that’s really how you construct a pantry that has a wide range and accounts for those days when you’re like, “I needed dinner that was done in seven minutes flat,” adds Feller.
By simply following these easy tips, you can eat delicious home-cooked food every day, despite the hecticness of everyday life. Give it a try! You won’t regret it.