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No time for prep

MCEOCHAIDH
MCEOCHAIDH Posts: 7 Member
edited March 5 in Recipes
so here's where I fall down I am a very busy single father with a child with autism so I'm full-time carer I don't get time to prep meals a week beforehand, I don't have time to waste in the morning spending an hour to make a 5-minute breakfast I have to eat what my children eat nine times out of ten otherwise I am in a position where I literally have to eat on the spot when I get time how do I manage to get proper meals so I can lose weight or am I wasting my time? I managed to go from 146 kg down to 87 kg but with the lockdown I have ballooned back to 98kg. keeping myself accountable is extremely difficult when I'm alone all the time and always under stress.

Replies

  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 949 Member
    MCEOCHAIDH wrote: »
    so here's where I fall down I am a very busy single father with a child with autism so I'm full-time carer I don't get time to prep meals a week beforehand, I don't have time to waste in the morning spending an hour to make a 5-minute breakfast I have to eat what my children eat nine times out of ten otherwise I am in a position where I literally have to eat on the spot when I get time how do I manage to get proper meals so I can lose weight or am I wasting my time? I managed to go from 146 kg down to 87 kg but with the lockdown I have ballooned back to 98kg. keeping myself accountable is extremely difficult when I'm alone all the time and always under stress.

    Oh that's so hard!

    You have made some progress though, and that's great, even with the setback. Circumstances are hard now. I don't say that to mean that it's impossible right now, but that you have to acknowledge the obstacles in order to work around them.

    I think it's totally fine to eat what your children eat. You just have to make it work within your calorie budget. If you want to shift how your family eats to reflect a diet that is better for you, you can work on it a little bit at a time. If you have a caseworker or therapist that works with your child on the spectrum, he or she might have suggestions for picky eating, if that's something that child has issues with, that can make for healthier eating for the whole family.

    I don't find meal prep efficient for my entire family, but I frequently double something I'm making - it may be a little more prep time chopping vegetables or whatever, but it's still only one set of dishes I'm washing and the only time I'm spending cooking the next time is to reheat. We have a leftover night every week and I usually do leftovers for lunch too. My children prefer sandwiches and a piece of fruit. That's fine by me - they can make them themselves or if I do it it's only a few minutes.

    A breakfast I eat quite often is baked oatmeal - it takes about 10 minutes to mix in the ingredients and then put in the oven. It does take 45 minutes to bake, but it makes about 9 portions that I can then heat in a minute in the microwave every morning. I could do stovetop, but I prefer the texture of baked so that's what I do.

    If you're unfamiliar with cooking much this is definitely the hardest time. It will take a long time at first to become familiar with ingredients, to arrange your kitchen in an efficient way, to develop knife skills, etc. But over time as you practice it becomes much faster and easier, because the skills become second nature and don't feel foreign and hard.

    Are there other specific things you'd like help with? These are just the first things that came to mind for me. But there's a ton of ways you can approach this to make this feel less overwhelming. :)
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,373 Member
    I work with children with autistic spectrum issues -- so I totally understand the issue that your time and attention is focused on that kiddo in a way other parents don't necessarily really understand. I also don't want to spend an entire day cooking, thank you very much.

    I would recommend looking at healthy-ish prepared dinners, meals, and snacks. I know they tend to be not quite gold standard in nutrition and can be full of sodium, but they have benefits. There are plenty of frozen meals that are less than 5 minutes in the microwave, there's many that are less than 400 calories (Smart Ones, Weight Watchers, Atkins,etc.). You can also order from many online sites that offer premade meals that will come frozen to your door.

    Many grocery stores have prepackaged salads--always worth getting a few. Also consider healthy grab and go snacks like boiled eggs, yogurt singles, light string cheese, and of course fruits.

  • tequila5000
    tequila5000 Posts: 128 Member
    What about using a slow-cooker? Plan ahead and shop for the ingredients. Then in the morning u toss it all together and it cooks all day. When u r hungry for dinner guess what-it’s ready!