One of the biggest challenges for women is meal planning for busy families. Let’s be honest… trying to plan healthy meals and snacks can sometimes be frustrating. Can you relate?
Your schedule may change with have evenings that you work late; weeks that you travel or have business dinners; or weeks when have an activity every night of the week with your family. All of those outside factors may leave you feeling powerless with no control over your next meal.
I remembered the many changes in our lives with the birth of my second child. I now have two kids at the soccer field going in different directions, on top of all other life responsibilities such as work, church and home. It can be tempting to order out or drive through the nearest fast food place. However, I believe having a family who is healthy physically and emotionally, meals together at home must be a priority and here is why.
1. Its Healthier
A study posted by the Medical Express revealed that “those who cooked were more likely” to live longer.
2. It Gives You More Control
By preparing meals at home, you control the amount of butter, oil, sauce, sodium, etc. and your portion size. According to a study with the Economic Research Service, each meal or snack eaten away from home adds an average of 134 calories, compared with the same meal or snacks prepared at home. If eating out every day, that alone could contribute to over 1/2lb of weight gain a week, if not doing anything to counter- balance the calories.
3. It Saves Money
Eating at home, not only saves calories, it saves money even compared to fast food. The average cost for a family of four is $30 for one meal. Last week, I was able to feed my family oven fried chicken with two vegetables and homemade macaroni and cheese for $15. That went a long way, considering there were leftover’s for lunch the next day.
4. It brings the family together
Even if it is only three nights a week, having our family sit down together allows us to share our daily events with each other, enjoy fresh food, and learn things about each other that we may not have known if we were “eating on the go.”
Sometimes, we have to be flexible as it may be later than usual as we wait for everyone to get home, but we sit down as a family.
Yes, all of this sounds great, but it is still a challenge with a crazy schedule to make it happen. Here is my questions for you. Are any of these reasons important enough for you? If so, your first step in meal planning is to make it a priority.
Next week, I will share my strategies to overcome the challenge of making it actually work for your family along with one of my “got to” recipes.