Too many families have to choose between preparing delicious meals but missing out on time with the family, or spending their money on fast but unhealthy carry-out or delivery. Working parents who come home to spend an hour and a half making dinner and then cleaning up the kitchen want to reconcile the need to feed their families with the desire to spend time with their kids. They don’t want to spend their money on takeout three or four times a week, either. Fortunately, the solution is not as difficult as it seems.

A family affair

One way to avoid giving up family time is to bring the family into the kitchen with you. Clearing the table and cleaning up after dinner can include the kids. As for meal prep, even young children can set the table or play sous chef. You may decide to have two members of the family cook the meal and clean afraid, a different duo every day of the week.

The point is that family time is whatever and wherever you make of it. Turning dinner into a group effort erases the need for expensive delivery and takeout, plus it means that the family isn’t scattered far and wide during the lead-up to super. It gives the children the chance to learn cooking techniques that they need to know later in life while also allowing them to have a say in what the family eats, which cuts down on food waste significantly.

Weekend preppers

Setting aside time on the weekend to prep your weekly meals is a time-saver for anyone. For families, it offers a way to spend time together while creating healthy meal plans. It also eliminates the need to perform those tasks throughout the week. Even better, you’re less likely to forget about, and thus waste, fruits, vegetables, and other foods that you prepare beforehand.

Meal prep takes on many forms. Whether you’re layering a lasagna to get it ready to bake on Monday or shredding cheese for Taco Tuesday, you can spend time together while planning for the week.

One-pot solutions

Who says you have to make an entire meal from scratch after a long day at work? You can cook hearty, nutritious meals with no fuss or muss. All you need is a Crock-pot or Instapot. Both appliances create no-hassle meals, but the best part is that they make an abundance of food. You can have leftovers and lunches for the rest of the week, handily decreasing your food budget.

Throw in all of your ingredients before leaving for work in the morning. By the time everyone arrives home, dinner is practically complete. You can make stew, soup, chili, meatballs, pasta sauce, and an assortment of other easy dinners.

How do you reconcile meal prep with family time?