We all need nutrition, but might not have the time to think too deeply about this aspect of our health when we’re also responsible for wrangling young children and keeping up with professional responsibilities while working remotely.

It’s the case that home-cooked meals carry the promise of healthiness, but slice into your ever-shrinking schedule. Conversely, convenience foods boast immediacy, but can leave nutritional gaps wide enough for a toddler to waddle through. So, what’s a remote-working parent to do? Well, let’s look at your options in detail, and hopefully help you decide what’s right for your household.

The Home-Cooked Dinner Dilemma

When assessing the value of home-cooked meals, you’ve got to consider the overlap between quality and time taken. The upsides and drawbacks could sway you in a particular direction:


  • Tailored Nutrition: Crafting meals at home allows you to handpick ingredients, ensuring each family member’s dietary requirements are met with precision.
  • Flavor Control: Seasoning to taste will ensure that no meal you make tastes bland, while also steering clear of salt-heavy prepackaged products – from which we get 70% of our sodium intake.
  • Cost Efficiency: Forbes reports that eating homemade meals is 5 times cheaper than dining out. Think of all the extra espresso shots or crayon packs that could become affordable in this context!


  • Time Investment: Preparing a meal from scratch can devour chunks of your day—time that could be spent boosting your productivity at work or engaging in hide-and-seek marathons with the little ones.
  • Cleanup Duty: After dinner comes doing the dishes, which is always time-consuming and energy-sapping. Even if you’ve got a dishwasher to load and unload, it’s more precious time slipping through your fingers.

There’s no ‘right’ answer here – rather some facts that might influence your decision to cook at home, or outsource this.

The Convenience Food Conundrum

Going all-in on convenience food feels like cheating – but if you’re time-poor and have plenty of disposable income, what’s the problem? Well, here are some perks and pitfalls you need to keep in mind:


  • A True Time Saver: Ready-made meals are there exactly when you need them, and can vanish without a trace (aside from packaging).
  • Variety at Velocity: A myriad of options ensures taste bud fatigue doesn’t set in—which could be a critical factor when you’re having to juggle between a toddler’s palate and your own.
  • Health, Prioritized: The good news is that with a low calorie food delivery service, you can sidestep the worries over wellness that might otherwise come with convenient comestibles. It’s just a case of picking the best providers that genuinely have the health of their customers in mind, rather than putting over-processed, nutritionally bereft food items at the top of the agenda.


  • Hidden Health Costs: 71% of Americans are overweight, and food that’s chosen for convenience without attention paid to the amount of sugars, fats, or additives included is partly to blame. That’s a deficit no amount of multi-tasking can overcome.
  • Expense Over Time: Those few saved minutes come at a premium. Regular reliance on pre-packaged bites can nibble away at your budget.

Exerting your power to choose the most nutritionally sound convenience foods, such as meal delivery services that are all about vitamins rather than empty calories, works best. Get this right, and you’ll be golden.

Final Thoughts

As with any decision facing parents who work from home, this isn’t a binary choice between home-cooked health and convenient yet damaging alternatives. You’ll probably find that a blend of the two works best – with special days set aside for cooking up a storm, while meal kits stand in to take the strain when you’re burning the candle at both ends.

It’s also sensible to regularly check in to see how your household’s feed needs are being met, and whether you could stand to make small changes that can result in big benefits.


So for instance if you’re more often than not reaching for a pre-prepared meal mid-week, or your monthly budget has got more breathing room than you expected, switching things up to either give yourself more time or make your spending go further, for your own sanity as much as for the health and happiness of your kids.