Dinnertime can be the busiest time for most families. Everyone is just getting home from work, school, activities and the day has been a long one. There are homework folders to look at, days to discuss and yes a healthy dinner to prepare. It can be crazy, especially if someone has to be out the door for an evening activity and yes, it certainly might seem easiest to run through the drive-thru lane because you’re too busy or tired but if you can get organized ahead of time the weeknight dinners can be much easier and more enjoyable. Here are 3 simple ways you can make weeknight dinners easy and healthy:
- Schedule Meals. For example, every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday and Thursday is Spaghetti and meatballs. You decide what you’ll eat each night of the week and just repeat this on autopilot. It makes everything predictable, shopping easy and if you have picky eaters you can avoid the fights because you won’t be trying fancy new recipes to impress them.
- Take Turns. Yes, sometimes have your spouse cook a meal or an older child. It doesn’t have to be fancy, breakfast for dinner or grilled cheese. It will take the load off the cook in the family if they have someone to share the responsibility with. Even if it is just one night off during the week, like a Wednesday can be dad’s night and take-out is not allowed, that is cheating!
- Freezer Cooking. You don’t have cook and freeze an entire month of meals or you can. Personally I like to just get ahead and have meals in the freezer, muffins for breakfast’s frozen and seasonal fruit in bags frozen. When I make lasagna for dinner I make another to freeze and use this when I’m in a pinch or leaving town. I try to do this for any casserole I make, breakfast muffins, French toast, pancakes, etc. The possibilities are endless. I really like Fix, Freeze and Feast, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (NYM Series) and Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy: Exceptionally Delicious and Nutritious Freezer-Friendly Recipes You Can Prepare in Advance and Enjoy at a Moment’s Notice. All great resources that I’ve adapted for my own families enjoyment but you might also just trying searching Pinterest or visit Once A Month Mom – the go to mom to follow online for freezer cooking!
What tips do you have for making weeknight dinners easier and healthier? Have an easy or favorite crockpot or freezer meal? Share your link!