Recently I’ve been writing a lot about feeding the family, especially since writing my book ‘How to Feed Your Family’ and it’s really got me thinking about practical hacks to help families cook meals for everyone. I know all too well that creating multiple family meals each week can be exhausting and chaotic so anything that makes it easier is welcome.
As a registered nutritionist, I know how important it is to have the right tools in the kitchen to make healthy eating for your family a breeze. When feeding a family, it can be challenging to prepare nutritious meals quickly and efficiently and having useful equipment for meal prepping can really help.
My top 5 essential pieces of kit for feeding a family
A food processor is a versatile tool that can help you to prepare nutritious meals in minutes. It can chop vegetables, puree soups, grind nuts, make smoothies, and even make dough. With a food processor, you can make healthy meals that are not only quick and easy but also tasty and nutritious. I’ve also been finding that if you can REALLY work out how to use your food processor effectively it can save you SO much time making those meals.
So often they sit in the back of cupboards or on the kitchen top gathering dust, only used for blending, but since writing ‘How to Feed Your Family’, I’ve been finding them super useful for GRATING. This is such an easy way to add extra veg to meals and using your food processor can help you add shredded veg in minutes.
A box chopper is a time-saving device that can help you to chop vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs quickly and efficiently. It is ideal for making salads, salsas, and dips or for chopping and adding veggies to hot meals. This is similar to a food processor, but they can sit on your counter and you can dice an onion literally in seconds flat.
When I’m making meals that need onions, diced/chopped veggies I use the box chopper as a super quick way to dice everything in one go. I don’t have any specific recommendations and they can be a little lethal as the chopping section is pretty sharp (they have different chopping sizes too, fyi) but here is an example of one from Amazon. Easy to clean and super simple to use – but do keep it away from the kids!!
Freezer Boxes and Bags
Freezer boxes and bags are a great way to store food in the freezer. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be your best friend when you’re making meals and snacks in bulk and wanting to freeze them. I actually LOVE the multi bags from Ikea and usually I wash and reuse them so they last me a very long time.
You can also get some great bee wraps and sustainable cling-films that work well too. Freezer boxes are easy to get too. I find having multiple sizes really helpful because you can freeze meals in different portions so they are easier to defrost for the right number of servings when you’re making a meal. They can be used to store fruits, vegetables, meats and leftovers. With freezer boxes and bags, you can freeze meals ahead of time and save time during the week by not having to cook every day.
A slow cooker is a fantastic tool for busy families. It can be used to cook a variety of meals, from stews and soups to casseroles and roasts. With a slow cooker, you can prepare meals ahead of time and have them ready to eat when you get home from work. (Check out my 10 warmer recipes for some inspiration!)
Silicone Baking Trays
Silicone baking trays are a fantastic alternative to traditional metal baking trays. They are non-stick, easy to clean, and can be used in the oven or microwave. With silicone baking trays, you can bake muffins, cookies, and other treats for your family without worrying about them sticking to the tray – they simply peel out. I’ve found these so easy when baking, especially with muffins, cakes and banana breads banana breads. Silicone is my go-to these days, just for ease of use and also I find them longer lasting, too.
In summary, having the right kitchen kit can make healthy eating a breeze for families. A food processor, box chopper, freezer boxes and bags, slow cooker, and silicone baking trays are some of my essential pieces of equipment that I feel will help every family in their kitchen. With these tools, you can prepare healthy meals quickly and efficiently, freeze meals ahead of time, and bake delicious treats for your family. Remember, feeding your family well is all about being prepared and having the right equipment is an excellent way to ensure that you and your family eat well.
For more tips on feeding your family, menu planning and getting organised in the kitchen, you can order my new book now:
Charlotte’s Newest Book
Following on from her bestselling books How to Wean Your Baby and How to Feed Your Toddler, this book brings Charlotte’s trademark approach of practical support and nurturing step-by-step guidance to help you manage the juggle of family life.