As much as I LOVE cooking, I must confess something. There are days that I’ve had that I felt like the lady in the photo above. Overwhelmed, stressed and ready to order pizza instead. Why? Because cooking can be stressful and when you’re trying to feed a family who has different likes and dislikes, it can be even more stressful.
Today I want to share with you 5 quick tips for a less stressed dinner routine.
- Plan ahead. Each weekend, I sit down with my meal planner and I write out meals that we’ll be having during the next week. I get a lot of my ideas from my recipe book collection (I’ve found great ones at yard sales and second-hand stores.) as well as pinterest. I talk to my family about what they would like to have as well as check the sales flyers for items on special and plan my meals based on their input as well as my own dietary needs. This saves me from trying to figure out what dinner is every day.
- Prep in advance. This tip here has saved me so much time as well as kept me on track in my own weight loss journey. After grocery shopping or on the weekend, I like to wash my fruits and veggies and get them all sliced and diced up and into their own containers. Some, I’ll make into little snack bags for those moments when I need to grab something and go.
- Recipe Renovations. At one time in my own journey, I’d totally eliminate some of our family favorites because they weren’t on plan. I’ve since learned that it’s totally okay to revise a recipe and make something just as wonderful and delicious with the healthy ingredients that I have on hand. I no longer fret about the recipe being perfectly prepared as instructed as on my recipe card. I make simple, healthy swaps and still enjoy dinner. Examples can be in place of butter, use coconut oil. In place of oil for baking, use apple sauce. In place of pasta, I do zuchinni noodles.
- Leftovers are okay. When I was a new mom, I wanted to make sure that I had a delicious, hot meal on the table every night and I wanted so bad to be this perfect mom who had all her stuff together. I quickly learned as my girls got older and once we started school and their activities, that trying to balance it all can be quite hard. One of the things I began doing was making extra of of our meals and either having them again during the week or putting them in the freezer for later that month. I still do this little “trick” as it’s been another awesome time saver and stress reducer.
- Give yourself grace. Momma, this one is specifically for you. There will be times where you go off plan or your don’t have any of the other 4 tips done. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Give yourself grace and keep moving forward. Do the best that you can.
It’s true that the dinner routine can be stressful but now you’re armed with 5 tips to help minimize that stress. I would love to hear some of your own tips/tricks for making things work. Let me know on facebook or twitter.
In this together,