In this day and age when it is considered a luxury to sit down and eat home-cooked meals at a leisurely pace, people often have to be content with eating left overs or reheating microwave dinners when they get home from work. Others are a little more creative and ingenious; they prepare pre-cooked meals during weekends and just freeze them when they need to eat throughout the week.
This method is said to be perfect for families with working parents. When the kids get home from school they can just go to the fridge and defrost the day’s scheduled meal and they’re good to go. This way, they are eating home cooked meals instead of ordering fast food or thawing a microwave dinner with mystery meat in it. School-aged kids are more than capable of operating a microwave, so parents are confident when they leave a note saying: “Dinner in the freezer, just microwave. Love, Mom”.
There are countless dishes and food that can be created in advance and then frozen. This is a much healthier option than buying commercially made meals. Just remember to teach your kids to re-heat their food inside the proper containers and to remove the cling wrap or plastic film wrapping. Not all plastics can be microwaved, and as parents, you must be responsible for ensuring that food you freeze is wrapped in the right kind of plastic or placed inside containers that are microwave-heat proof.
This is what makes it safe to eat reheated food. There are certain schools of thought saying that reheated food isn’t healthy to eat because it already has a lot of bacteria inside it. There are also those who say that because of different food inside the refrigerator, the food inside has already been contaminated and has become a breeding ground for microbes. That may be true, to some extent. So, avoid keeping food inside the refrigerator for more than 24 hours.
However, frozen foods are a different story. Reheating frozen food is safe since the food has been preserved through freezing. Second, the food is wrapped in individual bags or containers so it isn’t exposed to the other contents of the freezer. Finally, the food should be defrosted or reheated using microwave-proof containers. There is an issue with certain types of plastic being heated in a microwave; some of the plastics melt and harmful components are left on the food and end up being consumed by people. So make sure that the containers you leave at home are microwave safe.
Additionally, there are some foods that are better reheated on a stove top. The best way to reheat frozen tamales for example, is to gently steam it for a few minutes. This can be done over a rice cooker steamer or a small pan with a bamboo steamer on top. This may seem complicated for kids, so best to leave this task to them when they’re already a bit bigger.