It’s 6pm, you’ve had a long day at work, picked up the kids from school, taken them to their afterschool activities and you’re finally home. The kids are fighting because they’re tired and hungry and you have two options- whip something up or get take out.
You’re tired, you’ve still got to get through homework and bath time and you go straight for the easiest option – take out. It’s so easy now that we have uber eats, Deliveroo and you’re emailed new pizza deals every 2 days. Who can turn down 3 pizzas & 3 sides delivered for $34.95? I mean, it’s not healthy, but you’ll just be more prepared tomorrow, right? But tomorrow, we’re running late again and we just whack some chicken nuggets and fish fingers in the oven. And then the next day you forget to get the meat out of the freezer to defrost so you just whip up some baked beans on toast. And then suddenly, you’re on day 4 and you can’t quite remember the last time everyone had a full serving of veggies.
Trust me when I say I’ve been there. I’ve had those days and I’ve made those dinners and these are my top 5 tips on how to get organised and back on track.
1. Plan your meals in advance
Before you do your grocery shop, plan out all your meals for the week. Make sure you have all of the ingredients you need for each of the dishes and then stick that meal plan on the fridge for all to see. If you know what you’ve got planned, it takes the guess work out and makes dinner time that little bit easier.
2. Use a slow cooker
When you have a busy day ahead, utilise your trusty slow cooker. There’s nothing like coming home to the smell of that slow cooked casserole filling the air! It only takes 10 minutes to pop everything in the slow cooker in the morning and then it’s ready for you when you get home. (If only we had something or someone to clean the house while we’re out as well!)
3. Make cooking a family event
On nights where you have a bit more time, make cooking a family event. Chop up a bunch of colourful toppings, grab the kids and then make some homemade pizzas / tacos / nachos.
4. Make large batches and freeze the extra portions
Make large batches of your favourite meals and freeze the extra portions – so handy when things pop up and you don’t have time to cook! Some of my favourite freezer meals are healthy lasagne and sweet potato cottage pie.
5. Sneak in all the extras you can
We love choc berry/choc banana smoothies in our house and I love to sneak in as much as I can. My favourite smoothies include-
- Banana and/or berries
- Greek yoghurt
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Fresh spinach
- Chocolate protein powder
- Greens powders
My son just loves the fact that he gets something chocolatey so it is the perfect way to get in all the extra vitamins and minerals without him noticing!
When it comes to parenting, you can only do your best. Things will pop up and there will still be days where you’re running around like a headless chook trying to get from A to B with multiple children in tow and you’re not always going to have it together. Parenting is a full-time job in itself, so I hope some of these tips come in handy for you and make life a teeny bit smoother – maybe this week we’ll only go two days without a serve of veggies 😉
Author: Jaz Greer – HPC Team