family-meals-using-meal-delivery-kits

5 Reasons to Try a Meal Delivery Kit with Your Family

Full-time work weeks in the United States are some of the longest in the world. Just two years ago, adults who worked full-time spent an average of 47 hours per week working on job sites or remotely. Full-Time employment averages are still similar in 2017. Working so much leaves little time for relaxing, spending time with family or — likely the favorite part of your childhood — cooking meals.

With little time to spare, giving a meal delivery kit a try in your home is unquestionably worth a shot. Meals — despite what you or other consumers may think — are tasty, save time, and prepared with fresh local ingredients. Let’s look at five reasons why you — you, the reader! — should try a meal delivery kit like Terra’s Kitchen or Sun Basket.

family-meals

1. Forego the hassle of grocery store visits

Grocery store visits are chock full of troubles: finding items, selecting high-quality produce, waiting through long lines — and that’s not counting transportation to and from the grocer. The average grocery store trip, without considering time spent on the road, lasts 41 minutes.

2. Meal delivery kits are less wasteful the traditional shopping

Unless you purchase often-unhealthy, pre-portioned meals from grocery stores, you must buy whole containers of spices or large portions of produce. Not buying in pre-portioned amounts is wasteful, as you will probably throw out the rest of that produce before using it. In fact, the U.S. throws out a staggering $165 billion of food every year.

When you order meal delivery kits, necessary ingredients — even spices — are portioned precisely for one-time use. Save your pocketbook and pantry by purchasing meal delivery kits.

3. Easier to clean up

Arguably the worst part of cooking is the cleanup that follows enjoying a delicious meal. Time spent cooking is nearly always longer than time spent eating the meal itself — the last thing you want is to expend effort towards the menial task of cleaning up.

Meal delivery kits are designed by trained chefs with convenience and experience in mind. These kits, no matter where you order from, usually require only one or two pots or pans. You will spend less time cleaning up after eating, shown to make most people sleepy.

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4. Gain experience cooking new dishes

Cooking routine, tried-and-true meals is easier than learning new methods of the kitchen. However, you can’t learn if you don’t try something new.

Meal delivery kits include detailed instructions how to prepare dishes. Most kits are restaurant-quality meals you could only dream of cooking correctly. However, because these helpful kits include instructions, you can learn to cook new dishes.

5. Meal kits can provide more nutrition than self-cooking

Including healthier food into dishes is often challenging. Healthier food, unfortunately, usually tastes worse than less-healthy options. Fortunately for you, several meal kit providers are offering healthy, tasty dishes for you and your family. There are also lots of options to incoporate special dietary restrictions or plans, like Paleo, gluten-free, low carb, vegan and other options.

Meal delivery kits are all the rage for good reason. They provide new options, higher nutrition, and are more convenient than traditional cooking and shopping.

 

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Moving Companies Tips

7 Kitchen Packing Tips from Professional Moving Companies

Moving is a chaotic and stressful experience under the best of circumstances. Ideally, you would hire someone to do all the packing and moving for you. For those of us on a budget, we must do at least some of the work ourselves. While you may hire movers to transport your belongings physically, you’re likely still faced with the task of packing up the entire house yourself.

We recently moved from our beautiful Brooklyn brownstone into a more spacious home in the Connecticut suburbs. While we did hire a moving company for the actual moving day, I tried to have as much of the packing done before they arrived. I found the kitchen to be the most challenging room to pack, but the guys from Imperial Movers (www.imperialmovers.com) had some great tips:

1. Pack a mix of lighter and heavier things in large boxes

While large boxes can fit a lot of items in them, people often forget that at some point in time, you must move that box, which means you don’t want it to be too heavy. Even if you have movers with dollies, at some point in time, you’ll unpack and potentially rearrange what the movers move. A good rule of thumb is to not pack more weight into a single box than you can comfortably lift.

2. Use wine boxes for wine glasses

When vineyards ship wine to liquor stores, they use a special wine box that contains dividers. These boxes are perfect for packing wine glasses and other fragile glassware. There is enough room in each section to wrap glasses in bubble wrap before placing in their divided section.

3. Use shoe boxes for spices

Shoe boxes – especially large boot boxes – are ideal for spices, since they are almost the exact height of most spice jars. Pack the spices into a shoe box, cover it with the lid and then you can pack the spice box – or boxes – into a larger box for better protection.

5. Use linens and soft clothing for cushion

Packing materials can get expensive, not to mention, they create a lot of waste. Instead of just packing up a box of potholders and kitchen towels, why not use them as packing and padding for fragile items? You can even use other linens like sheets and bath towels and even soft clothing like t-shirts or pajamas.

6. Use large pots and pans to protect smaller, fragile items

If you have small, fragile items to pack like a bone china teapot or crystal salt & pepper shakers, you can wrap them in bubble wrap and then place them in a pot or pan for additional protection. You can also pack newspaper or wrapping paper in any nooks or crannies or to fill up the pan, so items don’t jostle. For smaller pans, you want to wrap and nest them to use less space.

7. Fill boxes

While you don’t want your boxes to be too heavy, you also want them to be full. Remember that boxes will be stacked on top of each other, so you want the box to be full so that it will not collapse under the weight of another box. If you’re going to put heavy items in a large box, you also want to prepare the box correctly, which you can find out how to do here.

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Overview of Green Chef and My Other Favorite Meal Delivery Services

Meal delivery services continue to gain popularity as people become busier but still desire to eat healthy meals at home. A meal delivery service allows you to avoid fast food and other unhealthy options. These services also help you avoid the rushed trips to the grocery store to get everything you need to make a healthy meal at home. Companies like Green Chef, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Plated, all provide gourmet meal services that bring everything you need straight to your door. The following are my family’s favorite meal delivery kits that we’ve tried so far. Hopefully, this information can help you choose the best meal delivery service for your needs.

Green Chef

The meal delivery service from Green Chef is ideal for those who prefer organic foods as everything they offer is made from organic ingredients. They use seasonal and sustainable foods in their meal selections to help eliminate stress and strain on the environment. Those who use Green Chef can choose meals based on personal preferences and they also offer vegan selections. The meals are designed to be easy and quick to prepare so that you aren’t cooking a complicated meal in the evening after a long day at work. Some of their recent meals include Cherry Balsamic Pork, Middle Eastern Flatbreads, and Southern Fish ‘N’ Chips.

Plated

This easy to use site allows you to choose the meals you like from their large selection of tasty, but simple to prepare, meals. Plated has a culinary team that works to develop meals that anyone can prepare on a weeknight when time is limited. All the ingredients are precisely measured which helps even the inexperienced cook prepare a chef quality meal at home. They create seasonal meals based on what’s fresh and the meat used is always antibiotic free. Plated also allows you to easily adjust your delivery days during the week based on preference.

Hello Fresh

Those who use Hello Fresh can choose from several different meal plans, including classic, veggie, or family. The classic plan includes a huge variety of ingredients that allows you to sample foods that you may not have tried otherwise. The veggie plan works well for those who prefer meat-free protein options and lots of fresh vegetables. If you have picky kids at home, the family-friendly plan always includes some kid-friendly ingredients in meals that are very simple to prepare. Each box includes all the ingredients needed for the meal, pre-measured to save time, and a quick recipe card to show you exactly to prepare the meal.

Blue Apron

This meal delivery service was created to help members find joy in cooking healthy and simple meals in their own kitchen. They offer farm-fresh ingredients and seasonal menus that are created to take advantage of the freshest foods year-round. You can choose from meals designed for two people or family meals for those who have more mouths to feed. The meals can be delivered at your convenience and deliveries can be skipped and rescheduled as needed. Blue Apron also allows you to easily personalize your meals based on dietary needs.

 

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kids-after-school-snacks

Best Healthy Snacks to Curb After School Hunger (Without Spoiling Supper)

A common, modern-day problem is the after-school hunger conundrum. Your precious children are asking for food after a grueling day at school, but you still want them to eat a good dinner. What’s a loving, responsible mom to do? Have a plan of tried and true after school snack staples on hand that will be quick, filling and delicious without spoiling their appetites, of course! Here are some ideas, perfect for tweaking to the tastes of your own sweet kiddos.

1. Trail Mix

A hearty trail mix is fill of protein from nuts and seeds, and the addition of dried fruit and chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter morsels doesn’t hurt, either. Great varieties are on grocery store shelves, but feel free to make your own or encourage your kids to help create their own, unique mix.

This hearty trail mix is easy to put together on your own. Just toss together some apricots, hazelnuts, raisins, and walnuts, and voila! You have a salty-sweet mix that fills up rumbling tummies.
This hearty trail mix is easy to put together on your own. Just toss together some apricots, hazelnuts, raisins, and walnuts, and voila! You have a salty-sweet mix that fills up rumbling tummies.

2. Fruits and Veggies with Dip

Dipping food always makes eating it more fun! Sliced apples or pears with caramel cream cheese dip is a perennial favorite (not just for fall), and fresh vegetables match well with hummus, Greek yogurt dip or ranch dressing. Add a favorite cheese to the plate for an extra protein kick.

3. Smoothies

You can bill these as healthy “milkshakes” for even more fun, and let your imagination take flight. Typically, a milk or juice/milk base works well with whatever fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables you may have on hand, but the addition of peanut butter or Greek yogurt gives a smoothie staying power. Some favorites are the Green Monster spinach smoothie or Martha Stewart’s cucumber blueberry smoothie.

My kids love Martha Stewart's blueberry cucumber smoothie, which is refreshing and packed with antioxidants!
My kids love Martha Stewart’s blueberry cucumber smoothie, which is refreshing and packed with antioxidants!

4. Energy Bites

These little, no-bake energy bites pack a protein punch. They can also be custom-made for your preferences and for what’s in your pantry. The basic recipe consists of oats, sweetener (honey, molasses, agave), binder (peanut or almond butter, date paste, Nutella), dry ingredients (cocoa powder, coconut), add-ins (M&Ms, sprinkles, raisins, craisins), and flavoring (vanilla, cinnamon).

5. Tortilla Roll-ups

Tortilla roll-ups can be either sweet or savory and eaten whole or sliced like sushi for a fun presentation. Some favorites are smearing a tortilla with nut butter and wrapping around a banana, sliced apple or other fruit. Cream cheese with strawberries is another great combo or cream cheese or goat cheese with veggies, ham, and cheese. The possible varieties are nearly endless!

Who doesn't love chowing down on a bowl of popcorn? At our house, we make it ourselves on the stove top for a healthy snack!
Who doesn’t love chowing down on a bowl of popcorn? At our house, we make it ourselves on the stove top for a healthy snack!

6. Popcorn

Whether you buy premade, microwave popcorn or freshly pop your own, it’s delicious to kick up the fun by sprinkling with parmesan cheese, butter or favorite seasoning blends. For a sweet tooth, make some crunchy caramel corn with or without nuts. Either way, popcorn provides whole grain, fiber and antioxidants sure to keep your kids healthy and happy.

Even better, you can tailor portion sizes to the ages of different children as well as how long the snack needs to stretch until dinnertime. Kids may even learn to help to create some of their own, unique snack creations to share with your family.
 

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