Mealtime Prep Got You Down? 5 Tips
Does the thought of prepping one more meal for your family make you want to scream? I get it! I have been there more times than I can count. For some reason, these people who live with me want to eat every. single. day. Who knew?
No worries, I've got you. Here are some quick and simple tips to help you survive the mealtime mayhem.
Tip 1: Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew (Literally)
Sure, whipping up fancy dinners can be fun and may be your specialty. However, when we put pressure on ourselves to create something amazing day in and day out, we burn out. Meals begin to feel overwhelming and time-consuming, and then if/when the kids complain, we feel unappreciated and frustrated. So, be realistic about your time and the season you're in. Not every meal needs to be a masterpiece!
Tip 2: Meal Planning Magic
If you're like me and have a house full of hungry people, meal planning is your lifesaver! Every Sunday night, I take a quick inventory of what we have, what we need, and then get organized. And here's the fun part: I have each of my boys pick a meal for the week. They help prep and clean up their chosen meal, which not only teaches them how to cook but also guarantees they'll eat it (because they asked for it!).
Tip 3: Divide and Conquer
Now, I don't mind cooking, but cleaning up? Not my favorite activity. So, here's the scoop: make assignments for who's on cleanup duty each day. This way, there is no arguing at the table, and you'll be more motivated to want to make something when you know you won't be stuck scrubbing pots and pans afterward.
Tip 4: When They Reject the Food, It's Not Personal
Kids have their own mysterious food preferences, and it's not a reflection of your cooking skills. DO NOT take their assessment of your cooking abilities to heart. Just smile, nod, and remember that one day they will appreciate your efforts (just not today).
Tip 5: Enjoy Dinner Time
Last but not least, remember that this is prime time to connect and enjoy being together. It’s a good time to coordinate schedules and evaluate the day. The food is the reason they come to the table, the feeling of connection is why they stay.
There you have it! With these 5 simple tips, you'll conquer mealtime madness like a pro. Embrace the chaos, find the humor, and keep those bellies full.
Happy cooking! 😄🍽️