One of the most difficult aspects of my week is coming home after a long day at work and cooking dinner. Don’t misunderstand, I actually like to cook and to provide my daughter and myself with healthy nutritious meals, but after 7.5 hours at work, a twenty minute ride home on the subway, it is at least 6:00 by the time I am inside the door. If I am making dinner that is another hour and by the time we sit down and eat it is 7:00 and I’m nervously eying the clock. This doesn’t make for a relaxing dinner or quality time with my daughter. Many moms face the same issue. Cooking doesn’t have to be a difficult chore.
Ideas to make cooking go smoother throughout the week
Create a Menu
Choose a day to sit down and plan a menu. It is much easier to know what you’re making than scrambling to come up with ideas during an already busy day. Plan your meals for the week. While you are planning your meals make a complete list of all the ingredients you need at the store. Include breakfast and lunch in the menu and remember to ask your family for their input.
Shop Once A Week
If you don’t want errands to cut into dinner time, shop once a week. Shopping once a week will save you money, time, and energy. Pick a day that works best for you, grab your list and get all the essentials for the week.
Choose a day that you’ll have few distractions, or have dad take the kids out for a few hours. Wash and chop all vegetables, meats, and other ingredients. Cook however many meals you are comfortable in cooking and freeze the rest of the ingredients. Once the meals are prepared put them in the refrigerator in preparation for dinner.
Another fast and easy way to cook a delicious home cooked meal is to get a slow cooker or a crock pot. You just add the ingredients and let it cook while you’re at work. When you come home dinner is ready to eat and the house smells great! Check out these sites for some fabulous recipes:
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It is shocking how many kids go to school on an empty stomach. Some easy nutritional breakfasts are:
• Whole grain cereals
• Fruit with a protein (cut up the fruit beforehand and have it ready for the breakfast table the next morning)
If you want to really be prepared, set the breakfast dishes out the night before after the dinner dishes are finished.
I have one of those picky kids, so she brings her lunch every day. I’m at ease with this because I know what she is eating and it is nutritious. But in our house every second in the morning counts, so I make her lunch the night before and put it in the refrigerator. Prepare your kid’s lunch after dinner so that you aren’t scurrying around in the morning. Lunches will also stay fresher longer after being chilled all night.
Cooking doesn’t have to be your job alone. Have the kids pitch in. If your children are old enough to do the dishes, have them do the dishes while you prepare their lunch for next day. Remember to ask them what their favorite dishes are and try to incorporate their choices in the meal plans. Dinner time is a time for families to reconnect after the day. Make your evenings a little more relaxed with a little preparation.
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