You love your kids and you want to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for them; with all the other responsibilities on your plate, this is not always the easiest task. It is an important one, however, as studies have found home-cooked meals and eating as a family are beneficial for kids’ health in numerous ways, from reducing their risk of obesity to increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables. If you are hoping to cook more, while still finding time to do everything else that needs to get done, you will be happy to know we have some cooking tips to help you do just that, provided you make a commitment to giving them a fair shake.
Cooking tips 1: Stock Up
We are much more likely to cook a meal when we have something in the house ready to be cooked; after running around all day, the thought of not only having to prepare a meal, but having to still go to the store to buy everything you need is pretty unappetizing. At that moment, popping some frozen dinners in the microwave or ordering take-out understandably holds a much greater appeal. Doing this sometimes is surely okay, but when it becomes the norm, that is where the problems can begin. A well-stocked kitchen can be a busy mom’s best friend. Fill up the pantry with long-lasting foods that can be busted out at anytime to whip up a healthy, tasty meal. Some good choices include a variety of pastas, rice, potatoes, beans, legumes, dried vegetables such as shitake mushrooms, salad dressings, sauces, and soup stock. Make sure your freezer is full of frozen fruits, veggies, turkey burgers, raviolis and anything else that will help you put together a good meal with ease.
Cooking tips 2: Plan Ahead
Never underestimate the power of making a plan and writing that plan down, whether you are trying to figure out the next five years of your life or something as simple as the next 5 meals. At the start of each week, sit down and figure out all the meals you want to make for the week; write down the ingredients and head on over to the store and buy everything you need. You do not necessarily have to make something unique each day—your kids will surely survive eating the same hearty soup and delicious bread twice in one week. Like the stocked kitchen, you will be much more likely to cook when everything you need is already in the house, just waiting to be prepared.
Cooking Tips 3: Do Some Meal Prep Early in the Week
One of the biggest barriers to cooking more often is the time it takes to prep the various ingredients for the meal. You have a lot going on and you just do not have time to make the rice or chop up all those vegetables. It would not be ready for a long time and the kids need to eat soon. We can save a lot of time by batching together certain tasks to be done at once rather than doing them all separately. By doing a bulk of the prep work for the week’s meals all in one shot—maybe a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, for example—by the time dinner rolls around each day, you will only have to do a few small things to bring the meal together. Get the rice or pasta ready; chop up all the vegetables that you plan on using; cut the meat; prepare the casserole you will want to cook tomorrow so all you need to do then is throw it in the oven. By setting aside time to do these things, you will move into the food preparation zone mentally and you will be amazed at how much you can get done in so little time.
What are your cooking tips for busy moms?
Author BIO: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing all sorts of tips for busy parents to find time to do the things important for their family; if you are in need of quality household goods, such as Proctor Silex irons, follow the links for more information.
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