How To Make Family Meals Easier & Less Time-Consuming
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When you have a family to look after, combined with a hectic schedule, it can seem almost impossible to cope with everything that has been thrown at you.
You naturally want to ensure that you are able to put a healthy, delicious meal on the table for your family, but time can often be a real issue for working parents. There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, are there?
The fact is that while making time for family meal preparation can be tricky, there are ways to get around the stress that comes with making food for the entire family.
It might seem like you lack time to be able to deal with it, but you can easily get family meal times under control. It’s just a case of knowing how to go about it.
With that said, here are a few useful tips and ideas that should help to make family mealtimes a little easier and less stressful for you.
Batch cook and freeze
A simple yet highly effective way to make family mealtimes a little easier is to batch cook meals, portion them up, and freeze them down into easy to heat, healthy, ready meals. If you struggle for time, particularly on weeknights, you might find that batch cooking and freezing meals could be a good option for you.
All you would need to do is set aside a couple of hours each weekend to batch cook or a day at the start of the month to prepare meals for the entire month. You can pretty much batch cook anything, but the best meals tend to be things like lasagne, curry, stew, and cottage pie.
Prepare your meals in advance
If you want to be able to cook meals fresh each evening, it can be a useful step to prep the ingredients beforehand. Spend an hour or so preparing the ingredients for each meal of the week that you plan to have, and then separate the ingredients into sandwich bags labeled with the day of the week or the meal that they’re for.
This will cut the time down significantly when it comes to preparing family meals. Another option is to prepare slow cooker meals so that all you have to do is tip the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and by the evening, your meal will be cooked for you.
You might also want to think about preserving certain foods to make cooking easier, such as preserving fruit and vegetables. The process is easier than you would think, for instance, making preserved lemons recipe here is much quicker and easier.
Invest in a slow cooker
As mentioned above, a slow cooker can make cooking family meals far simpler and easier. If you don’t already have a slow cooker, it’s a good idea to invest in one, and a good slow cooker recipe book.
Believe it or not, there’s not really anything that you cannot make in a slow cooker, it’s just a case of understanding what the recipe is. You can even make desserts in your slow cooker, hence why it’s such a useful piece of kit to have.
The fact is that while family mealtimes can be tricky to get right, they don’t have to be a complete nightmare. The key is to work out what approach works best for you when it comes to family mealtimes and to then go from there with how you approach things.