Dream Meal Times...?
Are meal times stressful?
Do you find yourself staring into the fridge hoping inspiration will come?
Or does 5pm come around and you realise that you have hungry children to feed (and yourself!!) and nothing is ready?.
Planning really is the key - and I know you feel like you don't have time to have a shower let alone plan a weeks meals (I am there too!) but there really are a lot of benefits to planning ahead:
*Saves Time! Yes honestly!! Planning ahead means you are far more mentally prepared and efficient in the kitchen. It also means you can make the most of a good time e.g. if child manages to find their toy truck/train/barbie doll interesting for longer than 2 minutes you know exactly what to do preparation wise!
*Early Preparation. Speaking of being prepared, planning means that if there are some steps you need to do early on in the day meal wise for example taking the meat out of the freezer or putting a slow cooker on - you are ready!
*Cost Effective. How many times do you find yourself throwing out food at the end of the week that you didn't remember was there or didn't get used?! Planning will mean you only buy and use what you really need!
*Balance. Planning means that you can add some variety both in terms of flavour and also nutrients. It will be easy for you to see if you are a bit low on something for example red meat.
*Minimises Stress. Let's be frank meal times are pressure points in the day especially 'witching hour'. When you know what you are having for dinner and how long it will take will greatly ease this stress! (P.S this is one of the main driving reasons behind the creation of my new cook book Healthy Easy Dinners for Busy Mums!).
*Flexibility. When meals are prepared it means that when family schedules change you can easily adapt - and when are kids ever on schedule?!
*Involvement. This is probably one of my favourite benefits to meal planning - children can be involved in this process which helps their learning, gets them excited about the meals and also reduces their stress as they know what's for dinner!
Have I sold you yet? I truly get the challenge of meal planning on top of everything else so just do what you can, every little bit helps. Even just planning out the meat for dinner will give you a basis to start from.
Do check out my awesome Fridge Meal Planners, these really are genius for making meal planning easy and fun!!
Love to hear your tips and tricks anything to help make meal times a dream is pure gold in my books!
xxx Dr Julie Bhosale