5 Strategies for Simpler, Healthier Family Meals

 

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Prioritize sit-down meals. Sit down with the family for dinner most days of the week. If you can’t do dinner, try breakfast.

Having at least one sit-down meal with your family gives you a chance to bond and teach your kids what healthy choices look like. Make only one meal. What you make for dinner should be the main option.

One of the first things I prioritize with family meal planning is rearranging the plate to include more plant-based foods. 5 Tips for Healthier Family Meals: Make it fun or a game. Get creative, it could be as simple as reading a book or creating an activity. Try Dr.

To get us both back on track, I’ve pulled together a list of my 5 favorite tips for easy, healthy eating. My hope is that they make your life a little easier—and help you get a rainbow of healthy produce onto your plate this week. 5 Tips to Make Healthy Meal Prep Feel Easy Tip #1 – Wash n’ chop.

5 Tips for Grilling Seafood; Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe | Easy and Quick Starter; Grillin’ – Full Episode Fridays – 4 Easy Grilling Recipes; Gordon Ramsay Makes SPAM Scrambled Eggs in Hawaii | Scrambled; WHAT WE EAT IN A DAY | Family of 5 | Healthy Family Meals; Delicious Grilling Ideas with Tyson® Chocolate Banana Ice Cream! 3. Articles written by our dietitians about the healthy benefits of cooking at home. Tips on making a meal healthier with simple changes.

Cooking At Home Parent Tips For Creating Healthy Meals For The Family. Easy healthy family dinner recipes to try: Homemade spaghetti dinner; Healthy chicken fajita casserole; Slow cooker balsamic chicken (quick + easy to prep!) Turkey sloppy Joe’s; Kale and butternut squash mac and cheese; Balsamic pork tenderloin with thyme (just 3 ingredients!) Quick chicken curry (an easy introduction to curry). Invest in time-saving cooking tools. Slow cookers and Instant Pots can help prepare healthy meals fast for your family. Good quality storage containers (these are my favorite) can also help you freeze meals to reheat later.

Also, if you’re looking for recipe ideas, here are a few of my favorite food blogs for quick, easy meals at hom. So, for tips on maximising flavour, and minimising waste, it’s Jamie we turn to. Use these ideas from our favourite chef to boost the taste of all your meals, and make ingredients go further. Don’t miss our food hub either for recipes and inspiration for every meal of the day. Special thanks to Tesco for sharing these tips.

5 Easy & Healthy Recipes to Make with Your Kids Finding healthy recipes for your family can be difficult, especially with the convenience that picking up fast food on the way home offers. Teaching your children how to incorporate healthier foods into their lifestyle while they’re young can help them to develop skills for cooking their own. Family dinner is much more than just the food.

It is a time to model good eating habits and table manners, create stronger bonds through conversation and even teach cooking and cleaning skills. If you are wanting to establish a family dinner routine, we have great tips for you!

List of related literature:

Use these tips as a guide as to how you can approach fussy eating in your house but remember that this list is by no way exhaustive or prescriptive.

“My Fussy Eater: from the UK’s number 1 food blog a real mum’s 100 easy everyday recipes for the whole family” by Ciara Attwell
from My Fussy Eater: from the UK’s number 1 food blog a real mum’s 100 easy everyday recipes for the whole family
by Ciara Attwell
Blink Publishing, 2018

In addition, families learn to gradually adopt healthier eating habits through decreasing portion sizes; reducing intake of energy dense, low-nutrientdense foods (red foods); increasing intake of lower-calorie, more nutritious foods (green foods); and regularly consuming three meals a day.

“Handbook of Obesity Treatment, Second Edition” by Thomas A. Wadden, George A. Bray
from Handbook of Obesity Treatment, Second Edition
by Thomas A. Wadden, George A. Bray
Guilford Publications, 2019

The third handout from the USDA gives ten tips for making a meal healthier.

“Toolkit for Counseling Spanish-Speaking Clients: Enhancing Behavioral Health Services” by Lorraine T. Benuto
from Toolkit for Counseling Spanish-Speaking Clients: Enhancing Behavioral Health Services
by Lorraine T. Benuto
Springer International Publishing, 2017

Make the menus “healthy” by following the Daily Guidelines for Americans 2010 discussed earlier in this chapter.

“Foodservice Manual for Health Care Institutions” by Ruby Parker Puckett
from Foodservice Manual for Health Care Institutions
by Ruby Parker Puckett
Wiley, 2012

Meals cooked at home from scratch might not be more efficient, but certainly TV dinners and microwave meals are.

“The McDonaldization of Society 5” by George Ritzer
from The McDonaldization of Society 5
by George Ritzer
SAGE Publications, 2008

It’s so simple it can be boiled down into three points, three simple steps that encompass almost everything you and your family need to know about healthy eating.

“The Doctor Is In: 7 Easy, Positive Steps to Take Right Now to Transform Your Health” by Travis Stork M.D.
from The Doctor Is In: 7 Easy, Positive Steps to Take Right Now to Transform Your Health
by Travis Stork M.D.
Gallery Books, 2010

This approach can be a boon for beginners— who have enough to worry about anyway—which is why the recipes in this book focus on single dishes and not menus or anything other than basic serving suggestions.

“How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food-With 1,000 Photos” by Mark Bittman
from How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food-With 1,000 Photos
by Mark Bittman
HMH Books, 2012

For example, an article entitled “How to Convert Your Kitchen for the New Age of Nutrition” (Prevention, February, 1975) tells the housewife how to make her kitchen a source of health for her family.

“Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology” by Carol Delaney, Deborah Kaspin
from Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology
by Carol Delaney, Deborah Kaspin
Wiley, 2011

I know that my priorities are also the priorities of so many families who need fast, easy, and healthy meals, and that’s what led to this cookbook.

“Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking: Meal Plans and Time Saving Paleo Recipes to Inspire Health and Shed Weight” by Maria Emmerich
from Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking: Meal Plans and Time Saving Paleo Recipes to Inspire Health and Shed Weight
by Maria Emmerich
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Making healthy versions of dishes they are already used to eating is also helpful.

“Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking without Salt, Oil or Sugar” by Cathy Fisher
from Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking without Salt, Oil or Sugar
by Cathy Fisher
Green Bite Publishing, 2016

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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49 comments

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  • I’m Brazilian and I’m using Google translator to say that I love this channel and I ask you to pray for me, so that I learn to speak English ���� The peace of JESUS ​​♥ ️

  • I really love your videos ❤️❤️❤️ But I had to inform myself about healthy nutrition a few years ago due to my husand’s health conditions. What I learned was clearly that animal products are bad for humans in the long run and responsable for all the major health problems in the western world even if the meat, chicken, fish, dairy, cheese and eggs are organic and best quality.. just because of the animal protein….The problems don’t come over night of course. All the delicious meat, chicken, cheese etc. make you feel great while you are young. But after 40+ years of animal products in almost every meal, we start to pay the price. That’s why it is so dangerous. Have you heard about ‘the China study? If not, I recommend you look into it. Or watch ‘What the health’ or ‘Forks over knives’. After I saw the scientific proof I switched to a whole food plant based diet and left out all animal products not so easy in the beginning, but the best decision of my life. My husband’s health improved immediatly and my own blood test improved as well. You are such a perfect mother and strong woman! Maybe you want to think about it and look into the information I mentioned… Love and Peace from Vienna, Austria ��❤️☮️����

  • YAHUSHUA bless you and your family. I love watching all your videos. Im so delighted to see your children growing knowing our YAHUSHUA. May IMMAYAH anoint you more. I love to see your kids playing well discipline.

  • Love this! Makes me feel so much better about my non-planning self. LOL! I’m with you on the planning adding to the stress. Love your channel!

  • Great tips…and meal planning is just as much about decision fatigue after a long day as it is about executing a healthy meal. Deciding what to make and then making it when you are a working mom can be overwhelming. If I have my menu and I have booked the necessary prep time on my calendar, my life goes way more smoothly.

  • I make a large pot of brown rice on Sunday then put it in the fridge. Take some out and heat it up for my meals. Like you, Everyday I have thawed meat of some sort in the fridge. Make a quick simple green salad each night. We like to use our slow cooker and make a large pot of soup overnight.

  • Thanks Lindsey. especially for the scripture. It was what I needed to hear as I was thinking about what I could find to eat. I struggle with weight issues and often eat for reasons other than hunger. So I needed to hear that right then to refocus on God. Love to you and your beautiful family. I have a first cousin and his family that have chosen a lifestyle like yalls. They got involved years ago with the teaching of Bill Gothard. Are you familiar?

  • I literally showed this to my husband and he was like, yup this is you. He’s the planner and it stresses me out. I tried to plan meals to be more organized and would always for get to take the meat out of the freezer and now I guess we’re having ramen for dinner. �� thank u for making sense of the type of people we are

  • Helo Jamie,
    I have seen your videos where you talk about the fermented flour. But, I have not heard it before. Could you explain me what kind of flour it is?

  • All of those recipes look so delicious! Recently I bought a very large bag of mozzarella cheese for a good price. I froze some in freezer bags to use later.

  • Wholewheat is great, and I personally love a Honey Soaked Bloomer, but eating Rye & Spelt bread will give you SO MUCH more nutrition. I make it myself with this recipe:  https://www.thesimplelifeblog.net/single-post/2017/11/11/Making-the-switch-to-Rye-and-Spelt-flours
    p.s. I love the tip of using extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter. I’ve started doing this in baked goods after reading Jamie’s 5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food.

  • I am a semi-planner. I do not meal plan for the week but I will have some ideas what I will cook for the week before shopping. Like you, I like to go to the grocery store/farmers market and see what is seasonal and do some of my meal plan there. I will make sure I stock the meat and veg for 7 days and probably have some idea for the first few days what I am going to cook. The key is to be flexible about what I am going to cook.

  • Love it! Will have to find plant based recipes♡ disease is on the rise in the animal kingdom ♡ if you have a fb look up ray Chehade many articles online also.

    Blessings to you beautiful family!

  • Love your helper! Your vifos make me cry. I need your hearts for the Lord. God bless and thanks for sharing the encouragement and testimonies.

  • My frugal ideas for lunches/dinners revolve around a legume (soaked overnight, then rinsed) and maybe also a whole grain (loved your sprouting idea!), plus a few vegetables that are in season (they’ll be the cheapest). I chop onion and water saute it, then add the vegetables, cut pretty small in the order of which ones need the longest simmering time. I try to eat cruciferous vegetables daily, if they’re in season, and also dark green leaves, which could be kale, chard, cilantro, or basil. I season with the juice of one lemon, a good pinch of black pepper, Himalayan salt.

  • Such an amazing family!!! I am 21, accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour at age of 16……before that I was Roman Catholic but pretty worldly, found Christians a bit strange, now I am born again and Love Jesus with my everything!!

  • Hi Lindsay, I’ll make the waffles. They look delicious. My simple pancake recipe is 1 egg, 1 Tbsp of banana flour and 1 ripe banana. Mix them all. This amount of batter is enough for one person, for more people, just increase each ingredient by the number of them.

  • I love your head covering. Where did you get it, or what are the dimensions of it is just a square or rectangle of material? Thanks.

  • I don’t mind cooking it’s just thinking WHAT to make, I don’t want to get stuck in a rut and make the same thing all the time, so I dislike figuring that out. Thanks for the ideas.

  • You have everything ready cooked and chopped and then it took you 5 minutes to make, in the real world, that would be around an hour.

  • Grains (oats) and beans have anti nutrients phytates. Soaking them disables the phytates and makes them digestible. See “Nourishing Traditions” for many recipes.

  • This would be something I would love to do, however we can’t afford the fresh ingredients. How did you do it when you first start out? Our budget is very tight

  • we do the same, always have some meats in fridge, then in front of fridge on a magnet whiteboard we put about 5.main meals and a few sides available as options for the week for dinner,,,takes the guesswork out of Whats for Dinner,,,Also we have a 19year old daughter who is now helping make dinner so the options give her some ideas to make dinner with what is in the fridge, or she can also create dinner with her own ideas,,,we tried the daily meal plan, but everyone felt frustrated when the days meal wasnt made and food was going to waste,,,now with our current system, we dont have hardly any food waste,,,,game changer,,,Great video

  • You can get food for free that food pantries are throwing out that are still good but close to Expiration date.
    I love your kids they are so cute.

  • So cute. I love your family. I’m christian and got married since 9 years and always waiting for children. GOD bless you too, from Africa (Côte d’Ivoire)

  • I found your channel and have been watching your videos non stop! There are some great tips in here. Never crossed my mind to be proactive and just always have some meat thawing.. that absolutely is where i get hung up when we don’t have a plan for dinner! Thank you for all of the great videos.

  • My hybrid to this is: I make a 2 week menu but choose what sounds good for that day instead of going by “Monday is this…”
    The menu is my way of knowing I have all the ingredients on hand to make any of those meals at any time. Several of our meals are the meat and veggie/sides.

  • As if I would take health tips from the person who supports the sugar tax. Causing companies to use artificial sweeteners instead of real sugar. No thank you

  • We have a giant 17″ cast iron “pan of greatness” and a le creuset oval pot that makes this philosophy so easy because it also minimizes the cleanup. Throw the veggies in the pan, roast for 15 minutes, add the meat and you’re all done in 30min max. The pot is great for throwing a whole chicken or Turkey legs in with veggies and let it cook away for an hour, hardly any prep or fuss. Whole chickens are great because they will last 2 people a few days of various meals.

  • I absolutely love brown pasta. It’s so tasty �� Since my boyfriend introduced me to it, I’ve been literally craving brown pasta. Could eat it every day. ❤

  • Hey you sound like me! Glad I’m not crazy. Meal planning was too much for me. I’m the same way, have stuff ready and waiting in fridge and then just cook it. We don’t do sauerkraut yet, our family does baek kimchi and fermented veggies. We like sauerkraut but I can make kimchi a little more sweet and colourful so it’s super appealing to the kids. My husband is a very firm believer in as he puts it: “protein, carb and veggies or fruit” for dinner so as long as I have the staples around the house we are good. For instance, I keep a lot of pork chops around because I can get them cheap and we always have applesauce and potatoes in the house and I usually have brussel sprouts aswell so that’s a pretty good quick meal if you ask me. Not even hard to cook ��

  • Hello Jamie, or anyone,
    You know, with white basmati or jasmin rice, you need to rince it under cold water to remove the excess starch and dust… is it the same with brown rices?

  • Love your family but the recipes oat meal pancakes is not necessarily frugal. Most of the time coconut oil & flour is more expensive that regular flour & oil.:)

  • There is actually no difference between white and normal brown bread, when it’s not whole wheat. Brown bread is literally just white bread with food colouring to make it look darker, so people think it’s healthier. It’s only healthier, if you buy something with whole grains in it.
    You can even try it out at home. Spelt is always talked about being the healthy cousin of wheat so the bread should be darker, we think. I baked a spelt bread (not whole grain) once and it was as white as any old white wheat bread.
    So, just because some bread is darker than the other, doesn’t mean it’s healthier.

  • I’m a very organized, plan ahead type of person, but you’re right, it’s very stressful. I think I’m going to try things your way for a while. Pre-planning is so overrated!! I feel more relaxed already just thinking about not having to think about what’s for dinner every night…thank you!:)

  • The pineapple salad looks like it would be my favourite, or the salmon salad with tuna instead of salmon. My go-to dressing is pretty much just olive oil and salt and pepper too, its tasty and lazy st the same time ��

  • Can’t wait to try all of them! I already had the salmon and it was delicious. I am doing lots of your recipes since my baby is lactose intolerant and everything is so healthy and yummy. By the way, where did you get those green plates? ������

  • Recipes are typically unhealthy and they suck up your money, which is why people use cheap processed products to make them. They also make people fat. Going to the grocery store to find the ingredients for a recipe can be so annoying and time consuming and leave you with ingredients you’ll never use again. Having a child who needs to eat as basic as possible because he can’t eat fake ingredients, left me with cooking how this mom cooks for her family. I felt bad at first but then I realized it’s actually the most healthy and cost/time effective method of cooking.

  • I like your vlogs, I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, and I see beauty in the way you live and witness your faith. I would like to see the families of my church living like you. One of our pioneers whom we believe to have a prophetic gift comended exactly your life style, and few of our Adventist fellows follow her counsels.

  • A simple and light summer dinner is tabouleh, You need bulgur or wheat semolina, lemonjuice, olive oil, salt, pepper and loads of freshly chopped herbs as parsley, mint and a bit of corianderleaves. You can also add finely chopped peppers and onions to taste. Just rinse well the semolina or bulgur, let rest and then proceed to prepare your tabouleh, then keep it in a cool place to rest for 2 hours. It is nice with hard boiled eggs and a bit of mayonese at the side or a slice of ham, or just as it is…much love from France!

  • This is great Jamie! Great to see celebrity chefs showing the public that carbs is not evil. And that there are healthier swap outs BUT we can choose depending on the dishes we cook. You’re the best!

  • Just for everybody info. Brown bread or pasta will not help you lose weight as it doesn’t contain any less calories, in most cases they have more calories per serving. However, there is no doubt it is healthier, just make sure you don’t go eating a loaf of brown bread thinking its the same as two slices of white.

  • Superb video recording! Up here at Y&S FOOD! we like to check out such type of contents. We produce Travel & Food movies too, throughout the planet, and therefore we are habitually aiming for inspirations and perhaps concepts. Thank You.

  • I am eating white rice because it tastes amazing. Don’t care about nutrition. Don’t take white rice away from the Asian. They bite.

  • thank you. I have felt like this has needed to be out there on youtube for a while now. I keep hearing the same advice meal plan meal plan meal plan its the number one tip and some people insist it is the only way. there is an insistance that it is so so much cheaper and both in my experience and my sisters meal planning has actually been more expensive. It feels like the difference between having a capsule wordrobe and laying out your clothes for the next day. I enjoy planning I find it fun fallowing a plan however doesn’t workout so well. My freezer cooking is having the meat already cooked and portioned in the freezer. I recently just came up with a weekly menu and I am hoping it works. as a stay it home mom there wasn’t much point in having a menu. but my kids have developed habits of telling me what they want when they want it and expecting me to fix multiple things all the time or picking what i am out of. also we had a bit of a chocolate problem I had let it happen at each trip to the store but we were going to the store or different stores very often and it was a problem. I have been doing more grocery delivery and I get a lot less demands for chocolate but I still want to break the kids of thinking I am a vinding machine and they have endless quarters. my children are two and three. I am going to do a picture menu. personally for me I don’t need the menu or really want to be tied to it however I need to break my kids of the habit of treating me like a vending machine. I want to save what little patience I do have for something meaningful. I think a handful of go to meals a well stocked pantry and a little prep cooking totally is way more key than a full on menu plan to save money and eat healthy.

  • My husband Joshua, hunts so in the winter I can up deer meat. And it makes really easy meals. All I have to do is chop a onion some potatoes and carrots pop open a can of deer put in a pan and bake and supper is ready ��. This is a meal we eat often. I also will make up a big batch of rolls that will last 2-3 weeks and we can have quick sandwiches. We also will open a jar of deer meat and add BBQ sauce and have sandwiches. I like having easy meals on hand. Especially with 2 littles. Chicken an rice with veggies is a handy meal as well.

  • I have only watched the first four minutes of this and will come back tomorrow, but wow this is exactly what I needed.. I so struggle with meals and a terrible planner!! Thank you

  • or, you just don’t eat bread or pasta or rice because it’s basically nutritionally devout of really anything your body needs????????? You can get fibre from so many other better foods

  • Could you please repost or ad to a video w he replied you get your spices delivered from. I have been collecting the Simply Organic brand as I restock my spices. Just buy them as they are called for in a recipe. Can find them in some stores in Toronto but some of the more obscure or not everyday used ones. Thanks in advance and look forward to seeing you on the 26th.