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As we head into a new school year, it’s time to think about how you can get more out of your mid-week mealtimes. To find inspiration, we asked dietitian, nutritionist and wellness ambassador for SunRice, Lyndi Cohen, to share her tips.

“With the new year in full swing, it’s time to get cracking on those New Year resolutions,” says Lyndi. “If developing healthier eating habits was one of yours, or if you are looking to get your health back on track after the festive season, then these tips will help you kick start 2021 in a healthy way.”

Meal prep
Meal prepping helps ensure you get a good balance of nutrients each week and avoids the mid-week struggles of deciding what to cook. It is also a great way to use up leftovers, reduce food waste and save money by buying in bulk and spending less on takeout. It is easy to make meal prep work for families even if there are some fussy eaters! For warm summer nights, consider simple ‘build it yourself’ meals like tacos where you can prep the meat ahead of time and serve with fresh salad bits (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado) so everyone can assemble their meal to their preferences.

Get creative
Summer is a great time to experiment and try new recipes, but these don’t have to be complicated! Think simple five-ingredient meals like salads or simple bowls that are packed with nutrients and flavour and also have a pop of colour that makes them exciting to eat. Some of my go-to ingredients for a simple summer meal include:

  1. Tinned corn – this is a convenient, cheap and easy way to add more nutrients like fibre into your diet. It is also very versatile! Add it to fritters, throw into a salad and include in a stir-fry or healthy fried rice.
  2. Brown rice – my favourite variety, it is such a great, healthy wholegrain. It adds extra fibre to any meal.
  3. Tuna – a great source of protein to incorporate in a salad or enjoy on its own as a snack.
  4. Plain Greek Yogurt – yoghurt can be a healthy option for you and your family. Choosing one with probiotics can help support good gut health. Enjoy yoghurt with seasonal fruit for a quick, easy snack, add it to a smoothie or swap cream for yoghurt when baking or making curries.
  5. Legumes – these one of the healthiest and most cost-effective foods to have in the pantry. I always have a huge range of legumes on hand such as lentils and chickpeas as they are perfect to add to salads or casseroles.

And, for an easy meal for the little ones, I love SunRice Baby Rice Cereal – it’s a convenient, nutritious and affordable way to ensure they are getting a great source of iron.

Be kind to your wallet
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact, making healthier choices can often save you money. To keep yourself on track, consider:

  1. Creating an ‘eat now’ tray for your fridge –  place any food that’s close to its best-before date in the tray and each time you open the fridge, use the food in it. Make an omelette or casserole. Either way, you’ll be making the most out of what you have paid for and reduce food waste.
  2. Chopping or blending leftover herbs – combine with oil or stock and freeze in ice-cubes for the perfect portion size for your next cook up. It’s an easy way to use up remaining stock or herbs.
  3. Buying in-season produce in bulk and making friends with your freezer – you can freeze ripe avocados for smoothies, seasonal fruit or vegetables like zucchini, baby spinach, ripe tomatoes, extra bread (blitz to make into breadcrumbs) and freeze extra coconut cream/milk. You can also freeze dairy milk in an ice-cube tray for thicker smoothies.
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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.