Ah yes, dinnertime. It always reminds me of Groundhog Day. One of the harsh realities of parenthood is that you do have to feed the kids. Every. Single. Night.
It can be really hard at the end of the day to get dinner on the table when you’ve been rushing around from work to swimming lessons to football training to dance class… As soon as you walk in the door the kids are telling you how hungry they are and asking when is dinner ready.
We’ve put together some of our best time and sanity-saving ideas to help ease the mealtime madness. Please add any more ideas that work for you in the comments below, because we need all the help we can get!
6 ways to ease mealtime madness
Make dinner in the morning
Use the slow cooker to prepare dinner meals in the morning, so when dinner time arrives you can just serve up, instead of battling with tired and hungry kids at the end of the day. Its also nice to be greeted with lovely aromas when you walk in the door at the end of the day.
Cook double batches of EVERYTHING and freeze them so you’re always prepared for those super hectic days… There is nothing better than remembering on a crazy day that you have a pre-made dinner ready to go. And so much healthier than takeaway!
Try batch cooking on weekends so you can stock up the freezer. It means you can avoid preparing and cleaning up every day so you get to spend more time with the kids and less time stressing about meals.
Meal planning has got to be the best way to deal with mealtime madness. Its basically planning your meals in advance so you can be prepared in terms of ingredients. Best of all you can think about which nights you have more time for cooking, and which nights are best for leftovers or quick and easy meals like stir fry.
When you’re putting your menu plan together, ask the kids what they would like on the weekly menu. This will help avoid complaints and take the pressure of you to keep coming up with ideas. If you’re needing some inspiration, check out our family-friendly meal ideas.
Get the kids involved
Its great to get the kids involved in meal time preparation. By teaching cooking skills to children from a young age, you are instilling confidence in them. An added benefit is that fussy eaters will be more willing to eat family meals if they to helped prepare them. It also stops them from asking over and over again “when is dinner ready?”