With the Festive Season now well and truly behind us, lots of us are not only contemplating our health but also our budgets! Christmas and New Year can be a time where we not only eat more than we would like or know that we should, but also spend more than we would like so, here are my Top 5 Tips to get your family eating more healthily while spending less!
1. MEAL PLAN
Meal Planning is a great way to ensure that you are making healthy choices and being economical with your funds! If you have a plan in place for the week ahead and factor in any days where you will be short on time, you are less likely to reach for the takeaway menu or make unhealthy choices on the spur of the moment. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to crack meal planning for the family and you can read my Meal Plan Blog Post for this week or watch my Meal Plan Video.
2. BATCH COOK
Between school drop off/pick ups, after school clubs, work and everything else in-between, life can be pretty hectic and even if you’ve committed to eating healthier, your best efforts can easily be thrown off course when you find yourself unexpectedly short on time or unable to stick to your meal planner! By spending a bit of time batch cooking at the weekend and then freezing meals, you will always have something to fall back on when life gets busy thus keeping you on track with your healthy eating and avoiding a potentially unplanned trip to the supermarket! Soups, stews, curries and pasta bakes are great for batch cooking and freezing. Some great example recipes are:
3. SHOP ONLINE
Shopping with children can be super stressful! I have frequently found myself throwing items into the trolley like a woman possessed in an effort just to get out of the store whilst muttering “Never again” under my breath and then arrive home to find that I don’t actually have anything that makes a complete meal! Even on the occasions that I am fortunate enough to be flying solo in the supermarket, I frequently find myself drawn in by the offers of unhealthy snacks (which are strategically placed at what seems like the end of every single aisle) simply because they are “reduced to £1 or are on a “buy one get one free” deal.
By using your meal plan, making a list for it, and shopping online you will find you only buy what you need.
4. EAT MORE VEG
Meat and fish can be expensive, especially if you are looking to buy healthier cuts of meat so if you generally have meat or fish every night of the week perhaps try a vegetarian or vegan option once a week to keep those food bills down. Pulses (lentils, beans and peas) are not only cheap to buy, they are also a great source of protein and iron. Try this kid-friendly lentil pasta dish:
5. GET THE WHOLE FAMILY EATING THE SAME MEAL
If you have toddlers or young children at home get them eating the same meals as you. Whilst supermarket pre-prepared toddler and children’s meals can be convenient, they can also be costly if you are using them on a regular basis. Get your children eating the same meals as you to save money and also by planning family friendly meals that the whole family will enjoy together and if necessary blend or chop meals for toddlers.
Here are the links to a couple of family friendly recipes that go down a treat with both the children and the adults alike in our house: