This article ‘How to enjoy healthy meals without the stress this festive season’ is a collaboration between Hello Fresh and Little Peeps Eats.
Every day I seem to have something new added to the Christmas social calendar. Unfortunately, this 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. This can lead to making unhealthy choices for our family as we crave some convenience among the chaos. Right now… it’s never been more important for me to be able to provide my family healthy meals without the stress!
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. This has helped me 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.
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 meals were really tasty! Whilst these 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. They had the appearance of chicken nuggets, so 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!). This will help counteract some of those additional calories, and maintain your energy levels. The festive season can bean 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 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.