It’s no secret that mums are the CEO’s of their household, working day and night to juggle a million things from balancing budgets to doing a load of washing … again! And then there’s the dinner rush at the end of the day, which is one job we can’t put off until tomorrow (unlike say, cleaning the loo!). So how can a mum make her life easier? By learning to work smarter and not harder. Reclaim the joy of family mealtime once again with these tips to streamline family cooking.
Here are six smart ways organise your life and put the love back into dinner time.
1. Get organised
The first step to mealtime bliss is to get your kitchen in order. When you’re trying to cook a quick dinner, there’s nothing more stressful than a messy kitchen that seems to hide everything you need in a sort of black hole, never to be seen again. By keeping your cupboards and benchtops organised, you will always have what you need at your fingertips. While you’re in the middle of your cleaning frenzy don’t forget to also organise your refrigerator which will help you know what to buy (and what not to) on your next trip to the supermarket.
2. Have the right tools
Working smarter means using the right kitchen tools to save you time. There are so many nifty kitchen appliances out there designed to make cooking a breeze, so why not invest in the best kitchen gadgets and make life easier for yourself. No one likes spending hours slicing and dicing vegetables and meat with blunt knives, the smart way is to set up your kitchen to help you cook by using quality ingredients and efficient tools to help you cut down on cooking time which will leave you free to enjoy a meal with your family.
3. The kids can help
Kids love to cook so a great way to teach them cooking skills (as well as getting some help) is to encourage them to prepare the evening meal. Younger children may like to start on something simple like creating their own sensational pizza toppings while the older kids can give you a night away from the kitchen by cooking the family a delicious egg dinner on a Sunday night! And if your kids need any more motivation to help in the kitchen, this is a fun chore that could even contribute to their reward chart for helping mum with dinner, which will make everyone happy.
4. Clean as you cook
Cooking is one thing, cleaning up after the meal is another thing altogether. The trick is to clean as you cook so that when dinner is served, the washing up is drying in the rack, the rubbish is in the bin and the benches are clean and tidy, which also means you can concentrate some quality dinner time conversation instead of rushing to clean up after everyone has finished. Imagine finishing your evening meal and turning around to see a sparkling clean kitchen, then all you have to do is pop the kids into bed and enjoy some quality me-time.
5. Freezer meals and batch cooking save time
This may be the best tip yet! Solve dinner dliemmas on busy days by planning ahead and stocking your freezer full of nutritious meals. And it’s easier than you think, all you need is to choose a few delicious freezable meals that will defrost nicely in a matter of minutes. If you are already a fan of your freezer why not try your hand at batch cooking, which is guaranteed to cut your overall cooking time substantially. Just double up on the amount of food that you usually cook, divide them up into individual portions and pop them into your freezer.
6. Do meal planning
Meal planning takes the stress out of family cooking and means no more staring into the fridge, wondering what you’ll cook for dinner. Meal planning will not only save your sanity at the end of each day but it will help you save at the checkout as you’re only buying what you need for the week ahead.