“What’s for dinner?”
It’s a question that can bring even the most stoic parent to their knees. And unfortunately, if your house is anything like mine, it gets asked multiple times a day.
If only I knew the answer! I must be perfectly honest; dinner is not one of my favourite times of the day. The deciding, the preparation, the arguing over who likes what and how many peas need to be eaten to qualify for dessert. You get the picture.
Unfortunately however, my family insist on eating dinner EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.
So it’s time to get smart and take a new approach to tackle my dinnertime blues. Here’s what I’m going to do:
- Meal Plan – I’ve gone through phases of meal planning in the past and I must say, life is certainly much easier with a plan. Shopping, preparing, answering the dreaded question, it’s all easier as the hard decisions have already been made. Plan your meals around how often you shop, the amount of time available on given days (e.g. evening commitments such as sports training or work) and who will be home to eat. I’m a huge advocate of including ‘Fend for Yourself Fridays’ on the plan!
- Rotate Favourites – This is something I have learnt the hard way. While it is tempting to have Taco Tuesday every week because everyone loves it, the novelty will eventually wear off and then no one will want to look at a taco again for months. Also consider variations on favourites to mix things up a bit. I think Wrap Wednesday could totally become a thing.
- Use kitchen appliances to maximum value – My slow cooker is my best friend in the kitchen, particularly in winter when stews, soups and casseroles are on high rotation. Pop it on in the morning then set and forget! Pull your Thermomix, pressure cooker or other such appliances out from the back of the cupboard and put them to good use.
- Cook in bulk – Your meal plan will come in very handy for preparing things in advance. You may cook a whole meal to freeze or just prepare ingredients to save time. Dedicate a Sunday to prepping and cooking then store in the freezer for quick, no-brainer meals that are ready in half the time. This is a great option for families who can’t always eat together or don’t have much time for meal prep in the evenings.
- Get the family involved – This may sound a little daunting but by getting the family involved in planning, prepping and cooking meals, you are less likely to encounter fussiness or food refusal at dinnertime. Not to mention the fact you are teaching them valuable life skills.
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be asking the kids: “What’s for dinner?”