You try incredibly hard to prepare healthy meals for your family. However, between work, afterschool activities, and poor time management, this happens less frequently, Instead, you go with microwavable products or fast food.

Unfortunately, the lack of healthy eating habits resulted in an increase in our obesity rates over the last half-century. It has tripled for adults and quadrupled for children. Something has to change, and it starts in your home.

Here are few steps on how to prepare fresh and healthy meals for your family.

Plan Your Menu

One reason why fresh entrees aren’t available is the lack of a plan. With life in constant motion, the time required to choose a recipe is limited. So, you have to carve out a few moments to create a menu.

It’s best to do it over the weekend or when everyone is in bed. Look through your recipe books or internet sites to find meals that fit the tastes of your family. It’s a good idea to include your children in this process. Allowing them to pick recipes that interest them increases the chance they’ll actually eat the meal.

Prepare Meals Ahead Of Time

Fresh and healthy meals take time to prepare. As we’ve mentioned, this is an asset you don’t have during the week. When you prepare meals ahead of time you counteract this problem.

This should take place not long after to plan your menu. Dedicate several hours over the weekend to purchase the ingredients and prepare the meals. In some cases, you also want to cook them. If you do this, then all you need to do is quickly reheat the meal.

Grow Your Ingredients

The produce and herbs your purchase at your local market are fine to use in your recipes. Still, there’s something special when you grow your ingredients. Most likely, it’s the fact that you had the gumption to make it happen with your own hands.

It’s not difficult to do this. Fruits and vegetables require enough outdoor space to grow. On the other hand, you can plant an indoor herb garden filled with basil, thyme, and oregano. Local businesses and online companies like Eden Ecosystems sell starter kits that produce a large volume of herbs.

Avoid The Market’s Middle Aisles

Most supermarkets are designed the same way. Healthy and natural items like produce, meats, and dairy encompass the store’s outer edge. The middle aisles are filled with packaged foods. Most of them contain high amounts of fat, carbohydrates, and high fructose corn syrup.

Aside from cooking items like flour, avoid these middle aisles as much as possible. Many of the items sold in them could be made in your kitchen. Plus, they won’t have as many preservatives as the packaged items.

Utilize Healthier Substitutes

The amount of healthy ingredient substitutions is vast. Truth be told, many of them were originally used by families before the invention of preservatives and colorful packaging. It’s these ingredients you want to utilize in your meals.

For example, select unbleached flour instead of what you normally purchase because it provided a sturdier structure in baked goods. Instead of sour cream try some plain yogurt, which is lower in calories and higher in protein.

Give Your Children A Chance To Cook

Sometimes, your children don’t eat what you prepared. The main reason is they don’t know how it was done. In the end, they don’t want to be surprised by something they find disgusting.

A way to minimize this reaction is to give your children a chance to cook. Introduce them to the ingredients you’ll use and give them a taste so they know what it’s like. They’ll be more eager to partake in the meal to show the rest of the family how good it is.

It’s not hard to prepare fresh and healthy meals for your family. It takes planning, some ingenuity, and a good deal of participation. Additionally, you have to be committed to breaking bad eating habits.

If you’re afraid to go into this all at once, then start small. Add one healthy meal to your menu for a few weeks. Add one or two more once your family gets used to it. Before you know it, your eating patterns will have completely transformed.