Back-to-School Busy Schedules Call for Simple Family Meals

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The Nutrition Journal reports that Americans have shifted toward eating out more and cooking at home less. With busy work and back-to-school schedules, many parents find it difficult to find the time to make home-cooked meals. Yet the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reports that the amount of time spent on food preparation and cooking may have implications for ones overall diet quality and health, and that a greater amount of time spent on home food preparation is associated with a higher diet quality. While the benefits of eating home-cooked meals are well documented, many parents are still unsure how to make it fit into their busy schedule. Here are back-to-school busy schedule tips to help get healthy meals on the table quickly:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

  • Plan ahead. On the weekend, sit down and make a list of what your family will eat for dinner all week long. Then head to the grocery store or farmers market to get the items you need for those dishes. Knowing what to make is often half the battle, so you can just look at your list on the refrigerator and get started making the meal.
  • Use what’s on hand. Pantries often have lots of food, yet people don’t know what to do to put it all together and make a meal. The Doctor Yum Project has taken on solving this problem by offering a free online tool, the Meal Maker Machine that will help people create a recipe using the ingredients they have on hand. Simply input the items you have on hand and the system will create a convenient recipe for you.
  • Do prep work ahead. When you do have time on the weekend, take half an hour to wash, chop, and get your vegetables ready that will be used in recipes throughout the week. This way, you can reach into the refrigerator and pull out the chopped and prepared items that you need for your recipe. Another option that can help is to do batch cooking on the weekend, where you make up a few meals that can be frozen or put into the refrigerator. Those meals can then be pulled out and heated up during the week as needed.

Dr. Fernando created The Doctor Yum Project, an organization with the mission of transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. To learn more, visit the site at:

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