Feeding a family is no small task. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time on grocery shopping, preparing food, and cleaning the kitchen than on anything else in my life. I do love to cook, but the whole thing is still exhausting!
So like many parents, I’m constantly looking for ways to make the food aspect of family life easier.
Below are three “hacks” that have saved time, reduced stress and/or made eating at our house more enjoyable lately.
Making “cheese platters” for dinner.
This is a seemingly fancy way of serving up whatever little nibbles you happen to have in the fridge. If I were to make a salad with this stuff, or sauté it into some mixture, my kids would never eat it. But they view these healthy platters as a treat (as do the grown-ups), so mealtime is actually fun!
2. Cooking a pot of beans or lentils in the morning.
Once or twice a week, I put on a pot of dry beans or lentils while I’m making my morning coffee. An hour later, they’re ready to use in all sorts of dishes: salads, soups, quesadillas, tacos, etc. I usually refrigerate them and deal with the meal preparation later, but at least they’re ready to go when I am! Legumes are such an easy and inexpensive source of protein and so simple to prepare.
3. Turning half-eaten fruit into fruit sauce.
My kids beg for the whole peach/plum/apple/pear but only end up eating part of the fruit before they get full/drop it/throw it on the ground. Luckily, their rejects make the perfect fruit sauce. I simply chop their leftovers into little pieces (any mixture of fruits will do) and simmer with a little water over medium-low heat until the fruit is soft. This sauce can be eaten as-is (chunky) or blended into a smooth puree – it’s tasty either way. And since the sauce comes to a boil and cooks for awhile, you don’t need to worry about kid germs 😉
I’d love to hear what little tricks have been working for you too!