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Healthy Meals for a Busy Life

By Sandra Young, OD, author of Visionary Kitchen: A Cookbook for Eye Health and Heal Your Dry Eyes: Nutrition and Recipes

It is a universal question of how to work, raise a family, exercise and put healthful meals on the table and in lunch boxes, all while keeping your sanity. It is a given that it is a challenge; however there are strategies.

1. Develop reasonable expectations. Short cuts and simplicity are good, and, everyone needs to have a task.

2. Get the whole family involved with weekly or monthly menu choices, shopping and meal preparation. (These skills last a lifetime!) This will also help to train young eaters to develop a healthful palate.

3. Stock the pantry. Stock your cupboard pantry with fast and items essential to a quick and easy supper such as quinoa, UHT low sodium broth, tins of salmon or tuna, dried herbs and spices. Your freezer pantry is equally important! Frozen fruit, vegetables and leftovers form the basis for a very healthful meal.

4. Freeze and label leftovers. Label soups, stews, spaghetti sauce. Freeze in a convenient size for your family.

5. Organize your kitchen. Knowing where everything is and having counter space makes meal time preparation faster and easier.

6. Cook more than one meal at a time. For example: take two pounds of ground turkey, divided. One pound becomes burgers; one pound is sautéed with salsa, beans and chili spice served over salad greens for a to-go lunch or tomorrow’s dinner. Another example: oatmeal for breakfast today, Sea Buckthorn Smoothie tomorrow. Roasted salmon tonight becomes a salmon salad sandwich lunch.

7. Go simply. Think of single-ingredient main courses, such as shrimp, salmon, scallops; one pot meals, oven-roasted vegetables, slow-simmering stews and soups and using a crock pot.

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