As we get older, life seems to get busier and busier. Our careers and side hustles take up so much of our time, but taking care of our health is still as important as ever.

If you’re struggling to find time to get into the kitchen, you might lean towards grabbing takeout more often than you’d like to, but this doesn’t have to be the case. With some careful thought and planning, you can maximize your limited time in the kitchen to ensure you’re eating healthy meals every single day. Here are a few tips to get you going.

Smart Use of Kitchen Tools

Smart Use of Kitchen Tools

First of all, make sure you’re taking advantage of technology and the equipment available to you to speed up your time in the kitchen. Appliances like instant pots and air fryers can make cooking a lot quicker, and you can use vegetable dicers and mandolins to make prep faster, too.

Owning a good knife sharpener is essential because blunt knives will not only slow you down but can also be dangerous to work with.

Meal Planning

Planning your meals in advance can take a bit of time upfront, but it will save you hours of pondering, planning, and shopping on a daily basis.

At the start or end of your week, sit down with a pen and paper and write down some meals you want to make for the next few days. Then, you can use that “menu” to write out a grocery list and buy all the ingredients you’ll need to make those meals. This will save you from needing to shop for ingredients daily and wasting time thinking about what to eat.

Mindful Grocery Shopping

Mindful Grocery Shopping

When you’re writing out your grocery list, you should also jot down some healthy snacks you can keep in the house for when those cravings strike. Going into the store with a plan will help you avoid impulse buys and purchasing random ingredients you won’t need.

Additionally, never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry!

Batch Cooking and Meal Prep

Meal prep is another task that many people avoid because it’s considered time-consuming. However, a few hours spent on a weekend can save you those hours every day after work.

You could either meal prep a couple of meals for the week ahead on a Sunday or use the batch cooking approach, where you double the servings when you cook a meal so you have extra to put away.

Quick and Healthy Recipes

Quick and Healthy Recipes

Finally, make sure you have a solid repertoire of quick and healthy recipes that you love and know how to make. Keep a list of your favorites (along with recipe links) on your phone or in a notebook.

This will help you make quicker and better decisions when you’re planning out your meals or looking for something to make on the fly. It can be helpful to use a recipe-organizing app that allows you to categorize meals and find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.

Dr. Lisa Patel (Nutritionist)

Dr. Lisa Patel is a dietitian and nutritionist who has revolutionized children's health and eating habits for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining our team in 2022, she worked with several NGOs focused on child nutrition and obesity prevention. Outside her professional life, she is an avid gardener and loves integrating her home-grown produce into family-friendly meals.

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