The Busy Mom's Guide To Weekday Meals

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It's amazing what parents do in a day. You help your kids with homework, drive them to and from practice, whip up a meal everyone will like, make sure they brush their teeth, the list goes on. Not to mention you have a job to go to. It's a wonder parents can ever find a few minutes to relax. While hectic can be an understatement when it comes to describing a day in the life of a parent, there are some savvy and straightforward ways you can save time and energy when preparing meals. Here are five tips for providing delicious weekday meals for the entire family.

1. Get in the habit of meal planning. Most people don't realize how much time they spend stressing out about what to make for dinner each night. Something as simple as planning a weekly menu can make things infinitely more manageable. Try sitting down on Sunday, writing down what you want to eat on each day that week and shopping accordingly. This is a simple and effective way to streamline the whole process.

2. Embrace convenience. There are far more convenient ways of getting a delicious weekday meal than chopping and sweating your way through a home-cooked recipe. Take advantage of the many food delivery services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. 

3. Make food prep a family activity. Parents are always looking for a fun activity everyone will enjoy or a way to constructively engage their kids. You can knock out a few birds with one stone by encouraging your kids to become more involved with preparing family meals. For instance, you can assign them a simple side dish (it can be as easy as defrosting peas or peeling carrots) or have each kid pick a meal they want to help make each week. Whatever your approach, this is an educational and enjoyable way to spend time with your kids.

4. Embrace leftovers. If you're already in the kitchen cooking, why not add more ingredients to the pot so you can have extra meals to eat through the week? Or, instead of ordering just enough food for one night, order a couple of extra sides or entrees that you can heat up for lunch or dinner the next day.

No one said life as a parent would be a breeze, but with a few easy tweaks to how you plan, order and cook, you can make mealtime into a fun and easy part of your day.