Being a parent is a full-time job and the small print on the contract often includes a clause about cooking. No one is expecting a Michelin star chef who has just worked nine-to-five to swan in through the door but the truth is the kids are hungry and we all gotta eat so expect to be shown no sympathy. Here are some handy hints to help you through.
Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Or so they say. Well in that spirit I would encourage mums and dads everywhere to supplant dinner time with a second breakfast. This isn’t simply because breakfast food can be delicious in its own right but mainly because it’s so damn easy to make. Scrambling and frying take a few minutes. Pop a bit of toast in the toaster and you’re away. This is an option you can use when things are getting stale or repetitive at dinner time. Shed those mealtime norms and break the mould.
The issue with dinner is that to make something tasty and complex it often takes up a lot of time and a lot of utensils. You can save on the washing up by committing to eating meals that can be cooked in one pot. Or as some may say (or have): a crock pot. That’s slow cooker to those who don’t have one. If you don’t you can still make it work: There is no reason that you can’t make an intricate dish with enough flavour to satisfy your whole family in one go. This makes it easier and while it stews, boils or fry’s you have time for other things. The ease of these dishes like chillis, stir-frys or stews gives your mind a break from going a mile a minute, something it has probably been doing all day anyway.
Food waste the world over is a disgrace. It’s time to do your part for your family and stop throwing things out every time they look a bit off. A good rule of thumb is if something is freezable; freeze it! It’s often seen as a last resort by some but there are some serious myths about freezing food that need busting. When freezing: meats don’t go off, for example and furthermore they don’t lose nutritional value. The same goes for vegetables and they can be used whenever. This can also help you so that you don’t break the bank by buying food you already have in.
Plan Meals Out
You don’t have to cook every single night and if you budget properly there are restaurants out there for you so that a night off doesn’t have to mean you end up paying through the nose for it. There are tons of coupon sites available meaning meals can be paid for with loyalty. See nights out as a reward for hard work and don’t feel like they have to be overly expensive or fit a certain mould. Going out can mean eating at a friend or relative’s house as well; just as long as they know you’re coming round first! Why not share the load and do a pot-luck where everyone brings something.