Plan Ahead and Eat at Home | Promote Family Time

Busy Teacher Meal Tips

Teachers are busy people! All working moms, whether you are working in the home or outside of the home are busy people and cooking for our families is one of the things that often gets pushed to the back.  You can plan ahead and eat at home. It is worth it.

Benefits of Cooking & Eating at Home

There are many advantages to cooking and eating at home as a family. The American College of Pediatrics has a great article titled the Benefits of the Family Table. There are many benefits of eating at home with your family but these are the reasons that made the biggest impact on me.

  1. Children who eat at home with their families do better in school.
  2. They form better, longer-lasting, healthier relationships.
  3. They are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug & alcohol use.
  4. Nutrition. We eat much healthier when we eat at home.

Plan Ahead and Eat at Home

So, how do you make healthy meals happen with so little time. On the weekends, I cook and prep meals for the week. My slow cookers (yes, I have more than one) have been the best tools in my kitchen for years. Then, last year I purchased my first pressure cooker. I have a new best friend! Don’t get me wrong, I still use my slow cookers but my pressure cooker has streamlined the weekend cooking process even more and introduced me to new recipes as well.

As time allows, I will post more of my favorite recipes that I hope will become some of your favorites too. Life-Changing Beef Stew may not have changed my family’s life but the easy prep has changed mine. It is one of our favorites. I have also made this for two friends who were recently hospitalized. Both asked for the recipe.

Choosing a Pressure Cooker

Now let’s talk pressure cookers! I did my research and took a looooong time to pick out my pressure cooker and I love it. I chose the Cosori 8qt. Electric Pressure Cooker which happens to be on sale now. A friend has the Instant Pot 8 qt. Electric Pressure Cooker and she is just as happy with hers. FYI-The Cosori model is priced significantly under the Instant Pot and I think it is just as good.

A note about size: I went back & forth trying to decide about 6 qt. or 8 qt. I got the 8 qt. and I am glad I did.  It is quite large but you can’t fill a pressure cooker all the way to the top like a slow cooker. I cook in large quantities and 6 qt. would not be large enough. I can still cook smaller quantities in my 8 qt. so it was definitely the right way to go.

Slower Cookers are Essential

I love my slow cookers. I love coming home and having dinner ready. Even better is waking up and having breakfast ready.

I use crockpots year round. I love the warm soups, stews, roasts, veggies, etc. Admittedly, I do not use my slow cookers as much in the summer. We also like to grill.  I like the fact that we can have a hot meal without heating the house up, especially if we are “on the run.” We have an RV and I take a crockpot camping too. It just simplifies meal prep.

You probably have a slow cooker but just in case, here are the two I have – Crockpot 8 qt. programmable model (confession time, I actually have two of these) and the Crockpot 5 qt. manual model.  They have changed to a stainless finish since I bought mine. This model does not have the handy programmable settings of my larger one but it is a work horse.

Slow Cooker Trick

Since my 5 qt. slow cooker is not programmable, I plug it into a Christmas timer when I need it to start a few hours later. It works like a charm. I routinely do this with Overnight Apple Oats. It needs to come on around midnight or the steel cut oats would turn to mush. That is way past my bedtime!

You Can Plan Ahead and Eat at Home

You can plan ahead and eat at home. It is worth it in more ways that one. We did not even talk about the money you save eating at home. It takes more planning at first but it gets easier. And it makes family life easier in the long run. I will be posting more of our favorite recipes soon.

Do you have a pressure cooker? What are your favorite recipes? Leave a comment or a recipe link below.

Auf Wiedersehen!

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