Ready, Set, Go!

Making dinner doesn't have to feel like a chore if you plan ahead—and kids, you can help! Spend a bit of time pulling together on weekends to plan family meals that are easy, fun and healthy—it's a snap to have dinner on the table within minutes of walking in at the end of the day.

Plan salads ahead of time

Over the weekend, wash and prep veggies and store them in individual containers so all you have to do is toss them in a bowl for a quick salad. Something nice to have, but not essential, is using a salad spinner with a built-in colander to store lettuce in the refrigerator so the leaves won't wilt. If everything is premeasured, it's really easy to toss together a salad to serve with dinner — or add chicken, hard-boiled eggs or cold salmon or tuna and you have a whole meal that takes just a few minutes to pull together!

Cook slow-style with a slow cooker or crock-pot. Use weekend days to cook several pounds of chicken breast or lean pork in a simple barbecue sauce or your favorite marinade. Once the meat's cooked, shred it with forks and add it to sandwiches, salads, or pasta.

Rotisserie chickens from the grocery store are tasty and make meal prep a cinch. Zap some frozen veggies in the microwave, slice up some bakery-made whole grain bread and you've got a classic dinner that takes just minutes to serve.​