Working parents are often time poor and sometimes intentions for a healthy dinner can turn into unhealthy takeaway

Eating together as a family is important to me, and so is eating a nutritious and balanced meal that satisfies the never-ending appetites of my two teenage boys.

At dinner I want to make sure that they have plenty of veg, meats and grains (balance of fibre, essential nutrients, protein and carbs) to keep up with their constant energy requirements!

We all know that being hungry AND tired is the worst time to shop for food, so when I’m walking around the supermarket at 7:30pm on my way home from work, it can be hard to make the right choices. So here’s two ‘go to’ dinners I have found work well for my tribe:

1. Roast chicken, salad and crusty loaf

Grab a roast chook, remove the skin and stuffing, throw some mixed frozen vegetables in the microwave or buy a pre-made garden salad. Just watch some of the dressings that come with salads (I avoid the creamy potato and pasta salads). I love the kale coleslaw with yoghurt dressing and mixed seeds! Grab a crusty loaf from the bakery and bam, dinner’s on the table!

2. Prawn stir-fry with brown rice

Grab a prepack of garlic prawns from the meat section, a couple of bags of stir-fry veg (one Asian greens/one mixed veg) and a sachet of two and a half minute pre-cooked brown rice. Now I know that it’s cheaper to buy a big bag of brown rice but sometimes I just don’t have 30 minutes to wait! While the rice is in the microwave, the prawns and veg are in the hot wok. Throw in some unsalted raw cashews and Voila… 3-minute dinner!

Next time you’re on the way home late don’t stop at the takeaway shop. Stop at the grocery store and pick up your better-than-takeaway dinner from the fresh food sections.

You’ll be surprised what you can whip up. Both of these dinners cost less than $20 for a family of four.

Enjoy your change…

– Mel

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