Strategies for Putting Healthy Dinners on the Table on Busy Nights

We all have busy nights when extra time feels like a luxury. After a long day at work, it can be hard to juggle errands, family obligations, chores, and still manage to get dinner on the table. This is perhaps when it’s easiest to fall into the habit of curbing your hunger with anything convenient – whether it’s fast food, frozen meals, or anything processed from your pantry.

Eating Healthy on Busy Nights

We all love convenience, but convenient food isn’t always healthy. It can be full of carbohydrates, sodium, fat and sugar. If you are hungry and short on time, you are more likely to opt for something quick and less healthy. This is not ideal if you are trying to manage your weight and make decisions that benefit your health.

Try these tips to put a healthy dinner on the table on busy nights:

  • Use a Pressure Cooker or Crock pot. A pressure cooker or instant pot can easily cook some of your favorite meals in 30 minutes or less. Throwing dinner into a slow cooker in the morning can let it cook all day so a delicious meal is waiting for you when you get home.
  • Chop Ingredients Ahead of Time. Chop, dice and slice all your main ingredients the night before or in the morning. You will be surprised at how much time it saves you when you’re ready to cook!
  • Try it Cold. You can make an easy dinner out of salad topped with grilled chicken or your favorite veggies. Cold noodle soup and whole-grain sandwiches are also easy and healthy options.
  • Make One Meal Last All Week. Make dinner in large batches so you can freeze the rest for leftovers. This is easy to do with various meats, pasta, rice, soups, stews, casseroles and one-pan dishes.
  • Get Others Involved. Need an extra set of hands? Ask your kids or spouse to help out with chopping, stirring, etc. Cooking together is a fun bonding experience and it helps everyone get better at making their own food.
  • Keep it Simple. Don’t overthink it! Easy dishes like breakfast for dinner, wraps and sandwiches, salads, soups and tacos are quick to make and adaptable so that they are healthy.

Want more strategies for prioritizing your health with a busy schedule? Click Here for tips on squeezing physical activity into your work day.

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