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8 Tips for Getting Healthy, Kid-friendly Meals onto the Table Faster

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Nutrition plays a pivotal role in the growth and development of children. A diet packed with essential nutrients helps kids boost their cognitive function, promote strong bones and muscles, and maintain healthy body weight.

On the other hand, while junk food may be quicker, it can lead to obesity, weakened immune systems, and other health issues. Therefore, it is crucial to establish healthy eating habits with your kids from the start. Not only does it shape their relationship with food later in life. It also builds a foundation for robust health throughout childhood.

The trouble is, for busy parents juggling many tasks and responsibilities, it can be challenging to cook healthy meals every day; especially when many parents erroneously believe that it can take much longer to cook nutritious food.

It might seem as though unhealthy options are quicker and more convenient, but by taking note of the following eight tips, you can get healthy kid-friendly meals onto the table faster. 

1. Plan Ahead

Firstly, planning meals ahead of time is key. If you invest some time during weekends in meal planning for the week ahead, you will save a lot of time during the weekdays.

Note down what you will be cooking each day and list down all required ingredients. This step ensures that grocery trips and cooking stay efficient and purposeful. 

2. Prep Your Ingredients in Advance 

Another way to ensure your healthy meals get onto the table quicker is to prep your ingredients in advance. Cutting veggies or marinating proteins, for example, can consume a lot of your cooking time. By managing these tasks in advance, typically over the weekend or during your comparatively free hours, you will ensure quicker and more convenient cooking on weekdays.

3. Invest in Time-saving Kitchen Tools

Tools like pressure cookers can significantly cut down cooking times without compromising the quality of your food. Slow cookers are also a good idea. While the food can take longer to cook, you can create meals with minimal hands-on time and get on with other tasks while the food is cooking. 

4. Stock and Use Healthy Pre-made Ingredients 

Having a pantry filled with healthy pre-made ingredients also saves time. Things like canned beans, prewashed salad greens, or roasted vegetables will speed up the cooking process.

You can then quickly toss together a nutritious salad or assemble a veggie-heavy pasta dish.

5. Cook in Batches and Freeze

Another great time-saver is cooking in batches. Make larger quantities of your kids’ favourite healthy recipes and freeze them in meal-sized portions.

A ready-to-eat meal just needs to be reheated, saving you valuable cooking time on hectic days. 

6. Cook One-pot Recipes

Another idea is to focus on one-pot recipes that combine proteins, grains, and vegetables all at once. This minimises clean-up time and often means a simpler cooking process.

7. Use a Meal Delivery Service That Offers Family-friendly Meals

You do not have to cook every night to get healthy kid-friendly meals onto the table fast. One option you should consider is a delivery of meals for kids. Using a specialist meal delivery service once or twice a week, or on days when everything is too demanding or overwhelming, is a wise choice.

You can find companies that provide both family-friendly meals and healthy dishes for children. You can also easily find meals that suit you and your children’s dietary preferences.

A meal delivery service can save you time and effort, and provide your whole family with nutritious, appealing meals that require minimal preparation before serving. 

8. Cook Healthy Meals That Take Little Time to Prepare and Cook 

In addition to the methods shared above, focusing on specific recipes that are quick, healthy, and kid-friendly can significantly speed up getting dishes on the table. Here are some healthy options your kids will love that do not take long to make. 

Whole Grain Pasta with Pesto Sauce 

Whole-grain pasta is an excellent choice. After cooking the pasta according to the package instructions, simply toss it with a store-bought pesto sauce that is rich in heart-healthy fats. You could add cooked chicken breast for protein and various colourful vegetables. 

Vegetable and Bean Soup 

Quick-cooking vegetables such as carrots, courgettes, and beans, along with some vegetable broth, can become a quick soup. Just let everything simmer until the veggies are tender before serving.

Kids generally love this comforting meal, which is packed with fibre and nutrients. Furthermore, veggie soups, like vegetable and bean or leek and potato, are ideal for all ages, from babies to adults. 

Homemade Veggie Pizza

A homemade pizza is perfect for kids! Use a whole wheat base, spread some marinara sauce, sprinkle mozzarella cheese, and top with plenty of your child’s favourite veggies. Then simply bake it in the oven for around ten to fifteen minutes.

While pizza is not necessarily the healthiest option, it is a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables, especially if they are turned off other veggie-rich dishes.

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