Every busy mom knows that there are days when you simply don’t have time to cook a four-course meal. Whether it’s due to overtime at work, after-school activities or other obligations, you can’t always spend hours putting dinner on the table for your family. Here are five tips that will help you make dinner in a pinch!
1. Keep The Pantry Stocked
Open up your cupboard doors and what do you see? Could you pull out a few jars, cans or boxes and throw a quick dinner together? If not, you need to go shopping! Keeping your pantry stocked is one of the first tips busy moms should follow. When you’re grocery shopping in an effort to stock your cupboards, look for dried noodles, rice, canned vegetables and even soups. While you probably don’t want to feed your family out of a box every night, having these essentials will give you the ability to throw something together quickly that is still relatively healthy.
2. Freeze Meals
If you’ve got the time, cook up large batches of food on the weekend and stock your freezer! Pasta sauces, chilis and stews freeze incredibly well and are easily pulled out and warmed up at a moment’s notice. If you like to can, consider making a few large pots of soup over the weekend and spend a day canning. The fresh soup can be opened and reheated anytime you need to feed your family quickly.
Making dinner doesn’t mean you have to stick to dinner foods. Breakfast foods are often quicker to cook and can be just as hearty! If you’re in a hurry, toss some eggs in a skillet and pop some bread in the toaster. Scrambled eggs and toast can make a fantastic dinner. It may even throw your family for a loop!
When you’re thinking creatively, don’t forget to consider alternative ways to traditional methods of cooking. A George Foreman grill is a quicker way to make hamburgers, you can make pasta, rice or steamed vegetables in the microwave and the Crockpot can cook you a great dinner while you’re away from home!
4. Collect Recipes
When you’ve got the time, sit down and copy recipes into a book or index file. The Internet has thousands of recipes that can be thrown together and cooked in a hurry. The next time you’re in a pinch, you can pull out your recipes and find something to quickly make your family for dinner. Take it a step further and organize the recipes in a way that makes sense to you. You can organize your recipes by main ingredient, the time it takes to prepare and cook the meal or even by family favorites!
All busy moms have a vast collection of take-out menus! When you are pressed for time, there’s nothing wrong with making a phone call and having your food delivered. Chances are that there is a healthy restaurant in your area that delivers healthy fare. While you’re organizing your recipe collection, pull out your take-out menus and highlight the healthiest options so you can choose them quickly when you’re in a hurry.
Making dinner in a pinch doesn’t mean that you have to feed your family out of cereal boxes. With a bit of advanced preparation, you can put healthy meals on the table for your family no matter what kind of time crunch you are in.