Mealtime can be one of the most stressful chores as a mother. The words “a simple dinner,” feels like an imaginary tale everyone speaks of, but we've never seen. When cooking for your family regularly, it is important to understand the value of meal prepping and how implementing it can change your everyday life around mealtime.
You shouldn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen or feel like you want to resort to fast food. Taking the time to simplify and plan your meals will allow you to connect and have more positivity towards mealtime.
Here are a few steps we suggest to simplify your meals and learn to love this part of your life.
Whenever you decide to make a change, it can be overwhelming. Try a few of these tips out and test what will help reduce stress and make mealtime more enjoyable.
Check your recipes. You must be realistic when it comes to your strategy towards choosing recipes. If you are feeding a family with small children, recipes with a lot of small and tedious ingredients can be overwhelming. Look at your family and see what fits your life right now and start there. It is also helpful to choose recipes that have similar ingredients. This will help save time and money!
Cook in one pan. Find meals that you can prepare in one pan. This can be either a casserole or crockpot dinner. Cooking a meal in a single pan will help alleviate clean up time. We also recommend trying a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers shorten the amount of cooking time. Plus, most pressure cookers have options to sauté right there in the pot so you can keep to our one-pot rule.
Add one thing everyone would like. If you have multiple children, rather than cooking several dishes you can let them each take turns picking the entrée and sides. Try offering something on the plate that each of them will like. By rotating the meal, they will each get the chance to pick their favorite.
Eat the same thing every day. This might feel boring, but if you can change it up every week, you'll avoid getting tired of the same meals. Buying the same ingredients saves time and money. This also allows you to forget about the planning and just focus on eating!
Have your children help. Having your children help make dinner is a great way to lift the burden of cooking. If your children are old enough, give them each a task and get to work. This will teach your children not only how to cook, but what kind of work goes into making a delicious meal.
Eat leftovers. If you don’t want to cook 7 times a week then don’t! Plan on making enough meals that you can eat leftovers a few times. Leftovers are a great way to supplement cooking.
Order pizza. Order pizza when you’d like. If you want to start cooking more, start with dedicating yourself to 4-5 meals a week and then plan on having a pizza night! You will feel less overwhelmed if you plan the pizza into your week than resulting in ordering it when you don’t have the time or energy to cook.
Chop beforehand. We suggested chopping all your veggies at once. If you are cutting up an onion, why not take 30 minutes to cut all your veggies for this week’s meals. This will save you so much time when it comes to cooking daily meals! Having your food prepped before cooking means all you have to do is cook it.
Every time you dedicate yourself to simplify meals, you can reduce the stress that comes into your life around mealtime. It can make all the difference.
Focus on a plan that you can succeed at and then go from there! Just because you plan to order pizza once a week doesn’t mean you failed at home cooking. It’s all in the plan.
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