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How to enjoy healthy meals without the stress this festive season

A collaboration between Hello Fresh and Little Peeps Eats.

Every day I seem to have something new added to the Christmas social calendar, which has started to impact my ability to provide my family with healthy meals.  This week, I have work Christmas functions, kids sporting activities, daycare graduation and Christmas party, and an extended family festive celebration on the weekend.  During the busy festive season,  it can be difficult to find time to meal plan and often we end up making unhealthy choices for our family as we crave some convenience among the chaos.

How to enjoy healthy meals without the stress this festive season

To avoid my family eating cheese on toast or takeaway every night, I’ve had to think outside the box of what I can do to ensure that we are eating healthy meals, amongst all of the chaos of the festive season.

Here are some top tips of what has been working for my family.

1. Stock up your freezer stash

If you can manage to dedicate a half day this weekend to do some batch cooking and stock up on some meals that freeze well, it can be a life saver on those nights you are home late to be able to reheat a meal you’ve grabbed from the freezer that morning.

Two of my favourite meals to cook in bulk are Spaghetti Bolognaise and Quinoa Con Carne.  

Hot Tip!  Bolognaise served on shredded lettuce put a lighter and healthier spin on this dish which can be a great option in summer.

2. Outsource planning and shopping for your healthy meals

On Tuesday I had a delivery from Hello Fresh.  I hadn’t tried them before so didn’t really know what to expect to be honest, but with my freezer stash empty and no time to shop I knew I needed another option.

My ‘Family Box’ contained all of the ingredients for four healthy meals, that feed two adults and 2-3 children.  I’ve found that there is enough for hubby and I, the two kids, and enough for leftovers for my lunch the next day – winning!

The ingredients for each meal are bundled individually, with a reusable ice pack to ensure everything stays fresh before you are able to refrigerate it.

I love the fact that I can still cook a fresh healthy meal, without having to shop for the ingredients or think about what I am cooking for dinner that night.  It is also easy to adapt the recipes to suit your family – perfect for fussy eaters.

Our four meals were:

  • Popcorn Style Pork with  Herby Sweet Potato Wedges and Veggies
  • Mexican Bean & Brown Rice Bowl
  • Warm Pesto Chicken & Bow Tie Pasta Bowl
  • Garlicky Hoisin Beef & Veggie Stir Fry

The verdict…

The meals were really tasty, and whilst they were new meals the kids hadn’t eaten before, there wasn’t a single meal that they rejected.  A family favourite was the Popcorn pork, with the appearance of chicken nuggets they were an instant hit with the kids!  I have no hesitation in recommending this to any family that like me, is time poor and looking to try to maintain some healthy eating this festive season.

The Flavour Generator

A really cool feature I discovered on the Hello Fresh website is the Flavour Generator.  You simply answer two quick questions and it generates suggested meals that you are likely to enjoy, and the recipes to make them.

This is a fabulous way to ‘try before you buy’ in making their meals yourself by purchasing the ingredients and making the recipes.  This will give you a flavour of whether you will enjoy the recipes and ingredients that are delivered to your door step.  I’m definitely going to be trying the Mexican Bean Salad, it sounds amazing!

3.  Keep meals simple, and stock up on healthy essentials 

Another option is to plan a week of basic dinners, made from fresh ingredients that are quick to prepare.

Some fresh and simple ideas:

  • A salad with a tin of tuna tossed through
  • Grilled chicken with a simple side salad and boiled eggs
  • Vegetable frittata and salad
  • Simple stir fry
  • Crumbed fish, salad and sweet potato chips

Hot tip!  Boiled eggs last in the fridge for one week!  Great to have ready in advance for a healthy protein boost in your salads, and most kids love them!

And remember, if you over indulge amongst all the festivities, make some time for exercise (kids included!) so you can counteract some of those additional calories, and maintain your energy levels over what can be an exhausting time of year.

I hope that you find these ideas helpful in ensuring  your family can enjoy healthy meals over the festive season.

Rachel Cassidy Little Peeps EatsRachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats.  She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum!  Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.

Back to School Christmas Gift Guide – Grab your exclusive promo code!

Christmas Gift Guide - Kids opening presents

I can’t believe in two months time Julian will be starting school.  I know I’m going to sound so cliche, but the years truly do fly by.  The kid loves his food, and he loves a good variety, so I’m wanting to get a few different lunchboxes, food pouches, bento accessories, and drink bottles.  This way I will have flexibility in what I give to him on any given day, whether it be leftovers I’m wanting to keep warm in an insulated lunchbox, or a smoothie for morning tea that I need a great quality pouch for.  I’ve reached out to all of my favourite businesses and bought them together to offer YOU some amazing deals if you are in need of some back to school essentials also!

Back to School Christmas Gift Guide – Grab your exclusive promo code!

There are 12 wonderful deals below where you truly can save some money (great time of year to save!) and get organised for when school starts next year.  Under each deal, I’ve noted my favourite item so that you can see my personal recommendations

Fill those stockings with some wonderful (yet practical!) gifts they are sure to love!

To access the promo code for these bargains – submit your details here:

Adventure Snacks are working towards a world where convenient, nutritious food is easily available to everyone.  They use high quality organic and natural ingredients to create great tasting products without the junk, and believe this will help inspire our kids to have a life-long love of real food.  Their range of bake-at-home-mixes are fabulous for school lunchbox snacks!

Little Peeps Eats recommends:  Choc Beet Muffin Mix

BABY BENTO BACK TO SCHOOL CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Baby Bento is all about making mealtimes fun. They do this by providing simple bento tools and accessories for parents to create fun an appealing lunchboxes and meals for their kids.

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Disney Plate Lunch Set

Bambino Love has an extensive range of eco friendly, zero waste lunch boxes, drinking bottles, insulated cooler bags, baby feeding products & cute bento accessories that inspire your endless creation!

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Squeasy Snacker

Happy Bites is a small, family owned and operated business based in Sydney, Australia. We source products from all over the world to provide everything you need to make food fun for fussy eaters. Our range of products are functional, unique and of premium quality.

Little Peeps Recommends:  Milton the Mealtime Companion

Kind to Kidz believe in giving kids the very best during their most crucial years of development. At the lowest prices possible. That’s because they love to see kids thriving, happy and safe.  I’m loving all of the ‘Hape’ range, from doll houses, play kitchens, wooden food pieces and more!

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Hape Delicious Memories Wooden Play Kitchen

Bentoland specialise in a wide range of Bento boxes,Yumboxes, Lunch boxes and Bento accessories helping you to make fun, healthy lunches. Our products are imported from all around the world.

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Batman 4 side lock Bento Box 

Emondo Kids – Mealtime dramas are now a thing of the past, with the release of the new range of bamboo childrens plates from Emondo Kids.  High quality and gorgeous designs, the perfect stocking filler.

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Lizzie the Frill Neck Lizard

Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler are passionate about getting all children involved in preparing fresh food and to succeed in cutting their own meals on a dinner plate independently.  The perfect stocking filler for any little ones who enjoy hovering around the chopping board!

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  4 pack -> 2 peelers and 2 knives

Lunchbox Mini – Are you tired of your children’s packed lunches coming home uneaten? Do you struggle to pack nutritious and appealing food for your child every day? Lunchbox Mini is here to save the day! With our help, you can pack lunches in less than ten minutes a day!

Little Peeps Eats Recommends – Bento 5 Lunchbox

Sinchies spout pouches are a fabulous lunchbox solution, they are designed with a double ziplock at the top for easy filling and washing, a side spout so you can suck or pour the contents out. Simply mix up your own homemade goodness, healthy snacks, yoghurt, smoothie or fruit crusher, pour it in and zip it up. Made free from BPA, Phthalates and PVC, Sinchies are freezer and dishwasher safe making cleaning and storing easy!

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Pineapple top spout pouch

Squeezy Snack – Reusable food, snack, sandwich & icy pop pouches for take anywhere healthy snacks!  Here’s what I love about these products.  They are:

  • Tough enough to use again and again
  • Money saving
  • Environmentally friendly
  •  BPA free, dishwasher/ freezer safe
  • Great for allergies and for healthy additive free foods

Little Peeps Eats Recommends:  Snack Bags

The Tropical Fruit Tribe are  all about educating the next generation of Aussies on the power of living tropical. This means being active, making healthy, informed choices and eating a wholefood diet.
As part of this mission, they are proud to offer Aussie parents alternative snack options for their kids and support healthy eating education at home and in the school lunchbox!

Little Pees Eats Recommends:  Tropical Fix – Nut Free Trail Mix 

Rachel Cassidy Little Peeps EatsRachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats.  She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum!  Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.

Healthy Christmas treats the kids (and you!) will love

Are you looking for some healthy Christmas treats the kids (and you!) will love?  These treats are not only tasty and 100% kid approved, they are a fun activity  to keep the kids entertained in the kitchen this festive season, without the worry of sugar overload.

Healthy Christmas treats the kids (and you!) will love

For my family, Christmas time is just as much about enjoying delicious food together, as it is about exchanging of gifts and spending time with loved ones.

It can be hard with young children to find a balance between allowing them to have ‘treat’ food, as it is a special occasion, whilst still making sure their little bodies aren’t being overloaded with sugar and processed foods.

By getting creative with fresh fruit and vegetables in bright, vibrant colours you can create gorgeous festive snacks that the kids will love to make (and eat!).Continue Reading →

Pick and Mix homemade ice blocks (popsicles)

Colorful popsicles with fresh fruits in vintage tray

The weather here in Sydney has started to really heat up, and the kids are spending more time in the pool, running under the sprinkler, and having fun in the sun.  Like all kids… my kids just love ice blocks!  I don’t love the sugar rush that they seem to get from many of the store bought varieties, so when I was given these awesome pick and mix homemade ice blocks (popsicles) recipes I was one happy camper!Continue Reading →

9 healthy Halloween party food ideas your kids will love to make

Healthy Halloween Frankenstein Kiwis

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that Halloween in Australia seems to be getting more and more popular, however I don’t see many healthy Halloween treats around.

I must admit that I do struggle at these times of year as I don’t love loading my kids up with sugary snacks.  Whilst I am all for my boys having the occasional sweet treat, I just don’t like what the sugar overload does to their little bodies.

My youngest, Orlando, particularly doesn’t handle sugar well and tends to get very over stimulated by even small amounts.  So this year, we’ve been on the hunt for some fun healthy Halloween party food ideas!

Continue Reading →

Homemade Healthy LCM Bars

As much as I’d like to say that I make everything for my little peeps from scratch, it simply isn’t the case.  I generally keep a stash of healthy snacks in the pantry for those times I just need to quickly grab a few quick snacks to pop in my handbag for the kiddos when we are heading out and about.  One of our favourite pre-packaged snacks, that I haven’t paid enough attention to the label, is the LCM bar.

Unfortunately, whilst they are super tasty, they are expensive and have over 13 ingredients…. and at least 7 are sources are sugar!Continue Reading →

Embracing Mothers Guilt – Why I’m ok with it

mothers guilt

“Put your phone down mummy”.  Those words still cut through me.  I was awash with mothers guilt.  I felt ashamed and guilty that I was trying to hide the fact that I was responding to emails rather than watching Orlando put on a little show for me.  I hadn’t seen him all day, and yet somehow I still couldn’t dedicate five minutes to my son.   He’s only 2.5 years old and yet he could see straight through me.

I thought to myself “I’m a shit mum”.

The mothers guilt that I felt that day, and seem to feel every day, is a constant battle.Continue Reading →

10 healthy blueberry snack ideas that your kids will love to cook

I introduced blueberries both my boys from six months of age, and for them both it was love at first berry! Ever since I have been on the hunt for a variety healthy blueberry snack ideas.  I’ve always got a fresh punnet on hand when they are in season and not too expensive, or a freezer stash of them for other times of year.

There are so many fun and different ways of serving them, but first, let’s take a look at why you should be including them on your family menu.

Continue Reading →