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Woman cooking in the kitchen while children are sitting at the center island

06 August . 2018

Easy Meals for Busy Families

Between school drop offs, ballet class, football practice, and homework, it may feel like there isn’t a minute left in the day to actually feed your family, let alone prepare a nutritious meal. Estrella residents can relate to being busy, with all the clubs, sports teams, and other amenities in the master-planned community to choose from. The good news is, there are a ton of great options to keep your family’s bellies full in a pinch.

Meet the programmable slow cooker
If you don’t already own a slow cooker, it’s high time to get one. Regardless of what’s on the agenda for the day, a Crock-Pot meal is the way to go. All you need in the morning is a few minutes to throw in the ingredients, set the timer, and run out the door for your first appointment of the day. You’ll come home to the pleasant aroma of a ready-to-eat meal everyone can dig into. Try one of these easy, slow cooker recipes:

Sausage and Tortellini Soup
Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Prep grab-and-go meals
Some families don’t have time to sit down to eat, instead grabbing fast food on the way to their next meeting or school function. It’s okay to treat yourself to your favorite food chain once in a while, but if you’re looking to set healthier habits, consider prepping grab-and-go meals. Prepping easy-to-eat foods on the go can make meal time a lot less stressful. Staples like quesadillas, breakfast burritos, or sandwiches can all be eaten without utensils and can include healthy meats, grains, and vegetables. Here are a few great sites with meal inspiration for all ages:

Grab and Go Meals for Kids
Meals for Eating on the Run (for adults)
Healthy Meals on the Go

Find a fast food alternative
It’s time for a reality check. You may not have time to cook or meal prep. What do you do? The options are truly endless for finding a place to grab a quick and healthy meal. Most grocery stores now have a grab-and-go section with things like sandwiches, protein boxes, and smoothies. Meal prep services are also popping up all over the Valley and provide pre-packaged, fresh meal options – Sunfare, D’Lite Healthy On The Go, and Scratch Culinary to name a few.

BUT, if you find yourself in line at a fast food chain, don’t stress! There are still options to feed the family that don’t include greasy, fried foods that will leave everyone complaining of a stomachache. Check out Shape Magazine for a list of health conscious fast-food options at your favorite joints.