HEALTH CENTER

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Healthy Meals for the Busy Family by Katey Kendall

Katie_1 (425x640)With the daily hustle and bustle of the American family, it can be difficult to get everyone fed, let alone cook a healthy meal.  To save time and effort, it often seems easier to simply stop at a fast food restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Unfortunately, convenience can come at a high cost – to both your wallet and your nutrition.

Huffington Post reported that families spent almost double the amount of money on sweets and processed foods in 2012 than they did in 1982. Because our society is so pressed for time, we have traded ease for nutrition, which is now falling by the wayside.

A concern to many families in regards to food is cost. Fast food companies have marketed their products to be affordable yet delicious.  However, in a study done by ABC News’ “Real Money Challenge,” the results presented a practical alternative.  Chef Bradley Herron worked with a family to see if cooking at home was more beneficial, in both terms of cost and convenience, than choosing fast food. The wife stayed home to prepare a meal, while the husband went to their favorite fast food restaurant. Not only did the home cooked meal prove to be more nutritious than the fast foot meal, but it cost $10 less.   The wife also finished cooking, as well as eating, 10 minutes before her husband returned home from dinner. The family later calculated that they could save over $2,000 annually by cooking at home.

Preparing daily meals at home may take some planning, but in the end the positives outweigh the negatives. Some tips to expedite the cooking process is to start marinating meat the night before, so by the time everyone is home from their perspective activities, the meat can be cooked and flavorful in a matter of minutes. As for sides, vegetables can be found at the grocery store pre-cut and ready to cook or thrown together for a nice salad. Cooking does not have to be a full-day process; Rachel Ray has made a career out of preparing delectable 30 minute meals, and the food network’s website lists healthy quick minute recipes, all available at your fingertips. When families are educated about their possibilities, it makes cooking doable in any household. After all, your family’s nutrition is worth it.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.