Make Mealtimes Easier For Your Family



Food should be fun- it’s fuel for the body but also a chance to sit down and connect with our families and enjoy the flavours. But if you’re finding that mealtimes have become more of a stress than enjoyment, it might be time to rethink the way you’re doing things. Here are some ideas for making dinner time easier to deal with. 

Meal plan

Meal planning is one of the best things you can do for your family’s health and finances. Think of it this way, you’re always going to have to eat, so there needs to be food prepared and ready to go every day. If you constantly find yourself at 5pm searching the kitchen and wondering what to make with random ingredients, know that it doesnt need to be this hard.

If you spend a small chunk of time each week working out what you’ll make on which days and creating a shopping list to make sure you have the right ingredients on hand you can’t go wrong. It can help to start off by compiling a list of all of the meals your family likes and will eat, you could either collect recipe cards, print a folder of recipes or go onto Pinterest or make a board that brings all of your ideas together.

That way, when you come to think of what meals to make each week you dont have to rack your brains and end up repeating the same things constantly. You can choose seven dinners from the folder, one for each day of the week and decide which days you’ll make each thing. If you know you have busier days coming up, choose easy to prepare recipes on those days. 

Stock up the pantry

Having a well stocked pantry is sensible in any home. It means that if you’re running short on fresh ingredients you can whip up something from the pantry without having to resort to an expensive takeaway. It also means that if you want to create a new recipe you have plenty of staples, herbs and spices on hand already so you’re not having to buy a ton of ingredients for each new meal you try out. Grains like pasta, rice and couscous make perfect staples. Tinned meats and fish such as meatballs and tuna can add a portion of protein to a storecupboard dinner, and tinned vegetables and fruit can be a great alternative to fresh if you choose ones without lots of salt or sugar. 

Batch cook

Batch cooking is a great way to save money and can be such a convenient way to feed your family. If you have ingredients like meats and vegetables for example with a short date on them, instead of letting them expire you can cook them all together to make curries, pasta dishes, chillis and soups and then freeze them in individual portions. This is much healthier and cheaper than buying microwave meals, but essentially gives you the same convenience.

For a quick and easy lunch or dinner, pull out a tupperware from the freezer and pop it in the microwave. Even if you’re a rigorous meal planner, sometimes life can happen and you get home later than you’d like. Your ingredients for a meal you’d planned might have gone bad suddenly, or you’re feeling under the weather and don’t want to cook. In these instances, having delicious meals you’ve previously made ready to go can be a real game changer. It also means when you find things like meat that are on sale for a good price, you can take advantage of the savings and eat it later on, since most cooked meats last around six months in the freezer. 

Utilise your slow cooker

Finally, the slow cooker is an incredible tool for the kitchen. It gives you the ability to easily create delicious homecooked dinners with very little prep, simply add your ingredients to the pot in the morning and when you get home you have tender and flavourful food which has been cooking on low all day. You can turn inexpensive and tough cuts of meat into tender, melt in the mouth meals and transform all of your family favourites into slow cooker meals. There are plenty of ideas online for things you’ve probably never thought to try too. Slow cooker hot chocolate for example or making baked potatoes in the crockpot ? Genius! Dust off your slow cooker and join Facebook groups for recipe ideas, or you could purchase a crockpot recipe book. 

How do you attempt to make mealtimes easier at your house?

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