With the school year starting, it’s back to worrying about whether to prepare packed meals for your child or just provide more allowance for food. Undoubtedly, letting them eat out is more time-saving and convenient. But while it’s a tempting option, doing this regularly is expensive and unhealthy.
As such, health experts often advise to make home-cooked meals - but of course, cooking at home is much easier said than done. It takes time and effort to create delicious and nutritious baon for kids, especially if yours are picky eaters. So to help you create healthy and yummy meals for their kids as the school year starts, here are some tips from Electrolux Philippines.
Plan your meals
Although it may seem tedious at first, meal planning is one of the best ways to save money and be more efficient at cooking.
Start by making an inventory of everything in your refrigerator and pantry. By knowing what you currently have, you can determine what meals to make, or what additional ingredients to buy. It’s wiser to pick recipes based on common ingredients, or things you can easily get from the store.
Planning meals are vital to your kids’ healthy diet so remember to choose balanced recipes with a good mix of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Interactive tools like meal planning applications and websites can also help make this task easier to manage by helping you create grocery lists, choose recipes, and track your children’s’ calorie intake.
Get creative with veggies
It’s no secret that most kids aren’t fond of their greens. One way to get your kids to eat vegetables is by using creative preparation and presentation - like making vegetarian sushi. Combine all kinds of vegetables or fruits with rice and seasoning to create tasty sushi rolls. Another way to serve veggies is to turn them into kebabs. By marinating and grilling them with herbs, garlic, and balsamic glaze, your veggies can achieve a deliciously tangy taste. Place them on skewers with some chicken or shrimp and you have a healthy lunch!
Instead of buying packaged sweets and chips, give your kids sandwiches like peanut butter with sliced fruits, or grilled chicken & cheese with lettuce and tomatoes. Not only are they healthier, but more filling and satisfying as well. If you want variation from regular burgers, try switching the meat patties to tuna. It’s incredibly simple and cheap to make using canned tuna—not to mention, it’s also packed with nutritious omega 3, iron, and potassium.
As for drinks, you may opt to switch packaged beverages with homemade juices. Freshly made juices do not have added preservatives, sugars, and artificial flavoring. Just make sure you have a juicer or blender handy then get your kids to pick out what fruit blend they want for the day!
Let nothing go to waste
Making extra servings can actually help you save a lot of time since you no longer need to go through the lengthy prep time before every meal. You can easily store extra servings in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve their freshness, then heat them up when needed.
And don’t forget about leftovers! To make use of leftover ingredients, try making One Pot Meals – meals such as stews or pasta that you can make by putting together all your ingredients in one pot. The great thing about One Pot Meals is that you can be as creative as you like as long as the ingredients can complement each other. If you still have unused ingredients such as onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, or mushrooms, you can chop them up then put them in a pan. Afterwards, add the pasta, pour olive oil and season everything to taste.
Have the right kitchen appliances
When it comes to food preparation and cooking, Electrolux offers a wide variety of kitchen appliances to suit your every need.
If you’re worried about how long your leftovers or ingredients will last in storage, the Electrolux NutriFresh™ Inverter Refrigerator EHE5220AA can go a long way in helping you prevent food spoilage. Since it’s equipped with technology that stabilizes temperature, deodorizes, and minimizes water loss, fruits and vegetables can stay fresh for up to a week. It also lessens utility costs because of its energy saving features.
If you live in a condo or apartment with a smaller kitchen, the Electrolux Tabletop Microwave Oven with Grill & Convection EMS3087X is the right fit for you. This 4-in-1 appliance combines the convenience of a microwave and the performance of an oven, grill and even a steamer, which allows you to prepare different types of dishes so your kids won’t get tired of the same old thing.
For something bigger but just as versatile, you can use the Electrolux Built-In Oven EOB2200BOX to bake, grill, and roast food. It comes with the InfiSpace™ feature that can extend the 68-litre capacity to a 74-litre capacity to give you plenty of room to cook multiple dishes in one go. It also comes with an enamel coating that repels grease and dirt, making it easier to clean.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to cook, you can use the Electrolux Built-in Induction Hob EHED63CS. Induction is faster and uses much less energy than other cooking technologies because it heats the cookware directly while the cooktop remains cool in the process, making it safe to touch and easy to clean – perfect for creating delicious dishes in less time and with less fuss.
Although preparing packed meals at home can seem tiresome and overwhelming, the long term pay-off is worth it. Not only is it more nutritious for your child, but more cost-friendly as well. Cooking isn’t always easy, but with a bit of practice, time, and guidance, you’ll eventually see that there are plenty of ways to be creative and efficient when it comes to making baon everyday!
For more tips on healthy eating, visit visit www.electrolux.com.ph and follow @ElectroluxPhilippines on Facebook and Instagram or @ElectroluxPH on Twitter.