It’s not that easy balancing kids, the housework, your personal work, office work (if you manage that too) and Cooking! That’s an insane amount of work to expect from anyone, and balancing all of these can really leave you frazzled. Here is where you can be smart about cooking. You don’t have to focus on making elaborate dishes every night – nobody in their right mind can expect you to do that. Here is how you can manage to get real food on the table from scratch without falling down exhausted.
Breaking it down
- Think of whipping up full meals/ dinners only 2 or 3 nights a week. This could include rice, vegetables, and proteins – everything you need in a balanced diet.
- Have breakfast for one night during dinner – like eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes – it’s different, light, fun and quick to prepare.
- Head to the local market for one night
- Do leftovers or have a date night
This break up of days helps you plan your week, and doesn’t put you in so much pressure.
Tips for the types of food
- Keep the food simple. Simple things are always best and wholesome
- Buy local produce and ingredients
- One tip for rice is to cook it in a stainless steel rice cooker with chicken broth or coconut milk and not water. This way your rice will taste delicious and your family won’t get fed up of it in a hurry. The rice cooker will make your life so much easier with the settings.
- Add butter. This simple touch can add a whole new flavor and richness to your food. Let it melt over roasted meat or even veggies.
- Make ice cream at home. Kids love ice cream and it can get pretty expensive if you keep buying it at the store – especially if everyone likes unique flavors. This cuts out on the chemicals and thickeners that are usually used in store bought ice creams.
Avoid microwaving food
Try to reheat your food in the oven or the stove. This encourages meals to be family time, eaten together instead of darting in and out in intervals. It also feels freshly prepared and will retain the heat for a while if you want second helpings.
Avoid last minute stuff
Try to plan ahead so you have all you need. Also, you can use the quiet time to make the food or to prepare the ingredients for dishes that you want to make later. The time when you drop your kids off at school or on a Sunday would be the perfect time.
- This is the smartest tip for young mums who have a lot on their plate already. Cook more than what is required so you can store it in containers or freeze it for a later date. Cook extra rice so it can be used in stir fry another day or chicken so it can be frozen and reheated later. You could also make huge batches of chicken broth and store it in the freezer which can be used in cooking on a daily basis.
- Save the bones of meat so that you can use them all at the end of the week to make a stew with onions, carrots, celery to simmer for hours.
- The meat from making broth can be used in making tacos, stir fry or curries.
- Use the chicken broth to cook black beans in which could be frozen and reheated for the kids to take to school.