If I've said it once, and I've said it a thousand times, we all have to eat.
It doesn't go anywhere, it's never ending, and it will happen, basically FOREVER.
Here are some ways I make cooking in general more fun.
One fact about me you may not know is that cooking is actually my favorite household task. I'd rather cook than clean, fold laundry, or scrub a pot.
Here's some tips, ideas, and planning that make cooking work for me.
- LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD, THEN MAKE THE MENU.
If Monday I'm super busy, I'll do a crockpot meal, or something from the freezer. If Tuesday is more laid back, I can experiment with that new recipe, and Wednesday it's a normal regular day, that's a normal meatballs, chicken, 15/20 minute type of prep.
- YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT FUN!
New fun mason jars for storage, fresh recipes that you exchange with friends, a new vegetable you've never tried, and getting the kids involved, are all great ways to keep the mundane exciting.
Have people in your home with different dietary needs? Gluten free, peanut allergy, someone on a diet? Instead of making a billion different recipes, switch out one thing.
For example, make spaghetti squash along with spaghetti and keep the meatballs the same. Leave off the sauce for the veggies that have sesame oil on them for that kiddo with an allergy. Sometimes just switching out one thing, or leaving something off to the side instead of mixing it in will make all the difference. No need to spend tons of hours cooking six different options. Everyone is happy. Especially as my older kids have appreciated more adult tasking foods, this method has allowed our younger kids to still enjoy a basic pasta, while the older ones taste the cream sauce.
-TRYING SOMETHING NEW? MAKE SURE YOU PAIR IT WITH A WIN!
Anytime you're trying that new spice (hello cumin), a new protein, or recipe and you're not sure how it's going to be received, make sure the other components of the meal are the tried and true. I've seen this shared by many nutritionists, and it's a very smart approach. If Salmon isn't always your kids favorite, but you know he'll eat string beans every time, then pair them together so for sure something on his plate will get eaten.
DINNER IS OUT OF THE EASIEST THINGS TO TAKE OFF YOUR PLATE DURING BUSY TIMES:
Busy week at work? Kids home sick? Dinner is probably the easist task to take off your plate. Takeout, chicken nuggets and canned corn, freezer meal, all options during hard times. Don't push yourself.
BEST WAY TO STORE LEFTOVERS SO THEY'LL GET EATEN?
Instead of tin pans that can crushed, here's some ways to store food so it'll get eaten.
- Mini meals aka: container with one piece of chicken, rice, and that roasted broccoli
- Freeze leftover soup in containers in the fridge.
- Make stirfry with leftover veggies
- Be mindful of what actually gets eaten, french fries DON'T heat up well, so make it without leftovers in mind.
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