1Life Blog

Must try quick and easy healthy family meals

Posted by Paul Rayner on 30-Apr-2020 08:58:11

Life isn’t easy at the moment, especially if you’re trying to juggle work and full time childcare whilst the nation social distances. 

It’s hard not to scroll through social media and look with envy at some families who just seem to have their “stuff together”; creating amazing home learning experiences, enjoying wonderful family walks and bike rides, cooking what looks like gourmet meals and let’s not get started on how they are managing to still excel in their jobs!  Healthy eating isn’t always easy and we understand it can feel like there’s not enough hours in the day to knock up a gourmet meal.  Don’t worry, 1Life has your back! We’ve pulled together some ideas and inspiration to create tasty, quick and healthy family meals.

Cooking with fish

Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet and the tastiest. It’s bursting with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D (which we are all in need of at the moment – apparently!).  Fish is also the world's best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for your body and brain – perfect for those young minds when you’re home-schooling.  Fish is generally considered to be among the best foods you can eat for a healthy heart.  Some people can be intimidated by cooking fish so here’s a simple guide to give you a little more confidence;  https://www.buzzfeed.com/jesseszewczyk/6-easy-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-cooking-fish?utm_term=.qax0K45PL#.wp14jOxrQ

Cooking with chicken

In general children has less cholesterol and saturated fat than other red meats but it is high in protein, which makes is a great ingredient for weight management.  It’s also packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins.  It’s extremely versatile and can be paired with most dishes and is often seen as a weekly menu staple.  Chicken is high in an amino acid called tryptophan, which gives you that comforting feeling after eating it.  And research shows that if you’re feeling a little down, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin levels in your brain, enhance your mood, blast stress, and encourage you to sleep well. Chicken is also rich in phosphorus, which supports teeth and bone health, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function. You can cook chicken on its own (bake, roast, grill, boil, bbq, steam or fry) and enjoy it with vegetables and potatoes or mix it with a stir fry or salad or even chop and dice it in a pie. You can create a lovely chicken salad or even a protein packed chicken sandwich …the possibilities are endless.

Cooking with pasta

Pasta offers a good foundation for healthy, nutritious and tasty meals the whole family will love.  Pasta provides a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of your daily fibre requirements and enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid which is essential for women of child-bearing age.

Pasta provides glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provides a slow release of energy; a great lunchtime meal that will keep the kids (and you) going until dinner time. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.

Cooking with beans, pulses and lentils

Beans, pulses and lentils can be a less expensive source of protein when compared to meat and fish.  Aside from protein, complex carbs and fibre, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc – they really are a superfood and there are plenty of tasty and quick ways you can cook and prepare them. 

Fruit and vegetables

Let’s not forget the importance of fruit and vegetables in our diets.  They provide us with a brilliant source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium as well as dietary fibre, which is what we need to maintain a healthy gut, prevent constipation and other digestion problems.

The NHS recommends you eat at least five portions of fruit and or vegetable each day due to the significant health benefits.

Look to pair meals with plenty of nutritious vegetables.  Snack times can be the perfect time to serve up some lovely fresh fruit or even vegetable crudités.  If you have fussy eaters at home why not make fruit smoothies or blend plenty of veg into soups or homemade pasta sauces.  A lot cheaper than buying these things from the shops and much more nutritious! What’s more, you’ll be surprised at how quick and simple it is to do! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/pasta-sauce

For more ideas, meals and recipes take a look at these websites….

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/quick-and-easy-family

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/collections/family-favourites-recipes.html

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/fast-dinner-recipes-0

If you have any favourite family recipes we would love to hear from you; please share them with us.  Simply tag us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/1LifeUK

Read More

Topics: Healthy eating