Planning and executing family meals is often a task that falls to moms for one reason or another. If you’re a stay-home mom, this is fairly understandable since you have chosen the mantle of Republican motherhood, so to speak. But for busy moms that take on the role of breadwinner and bread maker, ensuring that everyone in the household is getting a balanced and nutritious meal three times a day can be a real challenge. Heck, meal planning can be a difficult undertaking even when you have extra time to attend to it. It’s not like we all went to culinary school before we started having kids! And yet, the task doesn’t have to be that hard. There are all kinds of ways to make the job easier when you have a few tricks up your sleeve.
You have probably already learned through experience that it’s a good idea to stock up on staples (meats, produce, bread, and so on) during your weekly shopping trip. If you figure out what you’re going to cook, you can look through your fridge and pantry to see what you already have on hand and then make a grocery list that reflects what you still need. Naturally, there will be items you forget or use up occasionally, prompting additional trips to the store. Or the menu might change for one reason or another. But if you want to avoid the fallback of ordering in or hitting up the nearest fast food joint when your plans fall apart, it behooves you to have something on the back burner.
This could entail preparing a list of simple, go-to recipes for those nights when you’re too tired or too hurried to prep and cook a full meal. For example, if you’re a whiz with omelets, you could always make a quick breakfast for dinner when your son’s soccer practice runs long, or there’s an important science project you need to help with after dinner. Another great tip is to do your food prep well ahead of time so that you can just throw something together without too much thought. For example, you might wash and chop vegetables at the beginning of the week so that you’ve got the sliced and diced onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, or whatever handy when you’re in a hurry.
You could also pre-pack fruits, veggies, and snacks in individual servings to throw in a lunchbox or grab when you pick up kids from school. And you can make lunches at night, so you have less to worry about in the midst of the morning rush to get out the door. Planning meals for yourself is hard enough, but when you’re the one responsible for family meal planning, the process can get exponentially more complicated, especially when dealing with allergies, picky eaters, and the like. But with a few tips and tricks at your disposal, you should be able to lessen the burden and save some time on planning, preparing, and cooking family meals.