Many Australian parents are dealing with a new dynamic of working from home during this period of COVID-19 isolation. That means a whole new range of obstacles in itself, PLUS managing kids who may be off from school or kinder and are likely to studying remotely into next term as well. As a result, you might be feeling the strain of trying to keep the little ones (who are probably a bit confused) at bay while you keep your regular work on track!
So, what can you do to prepare for the week? Here are our top food prep tips to keep your kids full and your stress levels low while you are all working under the same roof.
Pack Lunches as If The Kids Were Off To School
Think along the lines of sandwich prep, chopping up snacks for morning and afternoon tea, having ample fruit on hand and prepping baked goods such as wholegrain muffins for the week.
You may even get your kids to ‘pack their lunches’ from your prepared food in the morning so they know what is on offer and to maintain their regular school routine.
Prep Food Over the Weekend
Get ahead over the weekend. This may include:
- Preparing lunches such as sandwiches, wraps, zucchini muffins and mini quiches for the week
- Chopping up fruit and veggies for snacks and meals and storing in containers in the fridge
- Preparing snacks such as yoghurt with fruit and oats, sliced cheese to pair with biscuits, veggie sticks, fruit, healthy grain muffins and boiled eggs
- Cooking a meal or two in advance
- Plan your meals in advance and shop for ingredients so they are ready to go!
Use Your Freezer
Prepare a meal in a larger quantity and freeze leftovers. Think soups, sauces, casseroles and curries… These freeze well, and you will thank yourself on the nights where you are just too tired to cook.
Get Your Older Kids in The Kitchen
Designate one night per week for your older children to prepare a meal to share with the family. This is a great way to encourage kids to get creative by sourcing a recipe and creating a meal which they can proudly present to the family to share… and bonus that you get a night off cooking!
Purchase Foods For ‘Easy Meals’
Some of our quick, nutritious favourites include:
- Eggs: they are versatile protein source. Boil, poach or grill and serve on toast with sautéed veg or create an omelette or frittata using frozen or fresh veg
- Tinned fish: packed with omega 3 for heart health and protein for our muscles, this is an easy lunch or dinner served with salad, addition to a tomato-based sauce and combine with pasta and veg to form a pasta bake or heat up with rice and frozen veg for a quick meal
- BBQ chicken: with the skin peeled served with salad wraps, a packaged salad such as Greek salad from the supermarket or steamed/roasted veggies to create a nutritious meal
- Baked beans: served on toast with grilled veggies for a fibre filled meal! Yum!
- Frozen food: such as frozen steamed veg served with a frozen steamed, un-battered fish.
Maybe even a frozen meal which fits the below criteria?
- Under 2500kJ per serve
- Greater than 3g fibre per serve
- < 400mg sodium, < 3g saturated fat and < 1g trans fat per 100g
- Opting for a choice with ‘no added salt’ or ‘salt reduced’
- Contain > 40% vegetables and if meat-based, >25% meat in the ingredients.
Share with us your weekly food prep using the hashtag #SCDFoodPrep or tag us at @scdietetics. If you are interested in learning more tips and tricks to keep your nutrition on track, contact one of our incredible dietitians at Sunshine Coast Dietetics today!