When you decide you want to simplify your life – cull the excess and live a less complicated life – it’s easy to overlook the many ways to do this. Taking a minimalist approach to food and eating simple is one of the quickest ways to trim the fat.
In my family, there is me and hubby then our three children: Miss F (3.5yo), Master H (22mo) and Master S (2 weeks old). The kids are all gluten and dairy intolerant, and both the boys have / have had severe reflux as babies which required me to cut out a lot of foods from my diet. Reading that, you would likely assume that the way we eat in our house is not at all simple lol! What if I told you that even with all the dietary requirements, we still had a simple approach to food and meal times?
Here are 8 effective ways to simplify your food and eat more simple!
- Meal plan
I highly rate meal planning! It might sound like a drag, and you may be fearful that it’s time consuming… but once you’re into the swing of it, it is not only quick but extremely worthwhile! Meal planning allows you to:
- Plan out your week. You know what you’re cooking throughout the week and what to prep ahead of time but also allows for flexibility as you can swap around the days / meals.
- Write a shopping list quickly. Once you know what meals you plan to cook, you can quickly draft up a shopping list.
- Keep on budget. Check your shopping list against your pantry, fridge and freezer to make sure you’re not doubling up. Having a shopping list will take away the temptation of adding extras to your trolley and help you to stay on budget.
- Quiet the mind. Having your meals planned for the week, ahead of time, means you can practice some mental minimalism and just chill! One less thing to think about!
- Cook one meal.
Yep, I said it. Cook one meal and one meal only. No, your kids don’t need “kid” food. And your husband doesn’t need “husband” food lol. Cook once and eat once (or twice if you can include leftovers!). There’s a couple of ways to make this easier for everyone, but remember if this is a change for your family there will be a settling in time.
- If you have someone in the family with allergies, you can support them by all eating the same. E.g. My kids are dairy free so we don’t have cheese or milk in the house. Yes, we do have chocolate for once the kids are in bed, but they never see it lol.
- If you have a fussy eater, try de-constructing their meal or serving the food on platters and allowing them to select what they want to eat. I always try to ensure there is one known and enjoyed food on the kids plate so they will eat something.
- Eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch
I won’t lie – I had a boss that used to eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day. And I honestly thought he was nuts. But, I have come to learn that this one is the money shot! Eat the same thing for breakfast and/or lunch each day. Now, I don’t mean for the rest of your life ! But until you get bored, then mix it up. Again – this leaves you with one less thing to think about!
- Have simple meals a few nights a week
There is absolutely no harm in having simple meals throughout the week. To be honest, we only try two new meals a week. The rest of the week is made up of: meals the whole family likes, takeaways (one night a week) and breakfast for dinner (one night a week). Having mince on toast, or bacon and eggs is easy, quick and always a winner!
- Order groceries online
This is a top hack for streamlining your life and cutting down time spent on chores. Order your groceries online for either delivery or to collect from the grocery store. It’ll save you time, allow you to keep costs down / stick to budget and you can do it any time of the day.
- Eat when you’re hungry (whole family)
Okay, so what I’m about to say is quite controversial… do away with meal times. If you are having meal time battles with your kids – just let them eat when and where they are hungry. If they are engrossed in their homework, or a movie, or a book – take food to them and let them eat while they do what they love. It will be okay to not have dinner around the table every night.
- Switch things up (meal times)
This is great if you have little kids – switch up meal times! My kids are forever hungry at 3pm or thereabouts. I would give them a snack, which they would binge on, and then they wouldn’t want dinner. It was doing my head in! So I switched things up – they were hungry at 3pm, I served them their dinner. Then at dinner time, they had a small snack before bed. They were happy, and I was happy haha! Small kids are always tired by dinner time, so giving them new foods at lunch when they are more emotionally stable will go down a lot better too!
- Food Prep
Where can you cut down time throughout the week? You could food prep on one day a week, or throughout the week. Consider things such as: cutting fresh veges so they are ready to cook with, making breakfast or lunch at the start of the week (e.g. salads or overnight oats), baking on a Sunday and freezing some to eat throughout the week.
Now that you have food simplified, you will have the time and space to focus on the things you love! What do you think? Could you take on any of these tips?