Working Mom Meals

So Many Requirements

One of the hardest things about being a mother is the day to day necessity of coming up with ways to feed the family that will satisfy a whole slew of requirements. If you're a working mom, it's all the more difficult to find a way to feed your family and fill all the needs of those involved. You know the drill; you think of a meal and start feeling its pulse: is it nutritious, hard to make, kid-friendly, economical, quick to prepare, and does it require extensive washing up? Some days you fudge a little: so there's no vegetable--just for today--unless you count ketchup. You'll make it up next time. Or you blow your budget on frozen prepared foods--just for today--tomorrow you'll cook an inexpensive meal.

Part of the problem is the sheer drudgery involved-you and your husband would be happy to have something interesting and new, but your kids are stuck on about 5 or 6 meals, all involving melted cheese. Yes, you could cook something separate for the two of you, but who needs to cook twice?

Savvy Moms

Here are some tips that savvy moms use to solve some of these problems:

Make extra--Brown extra ground meat and freeze. Now you have a great ingredient, ready made to add to spaghetti sauce or turn into chili or soup on a different night.

Or, double a meal your family loves and will tolerate being served a second time as leftovers. If your family will eat spaghetti all week long, make a lot. They can always nuke a serving in the microwave.

Organization--Make a meal plan for the week and do your shopping in bulk and ahead of time. That way you'll always have what you need on hand.

Emergency meal plans--Work out a menu of at least a few favorite, crowd-pleasing meals and stick it on your fridge with a magnet. Keep your pantry stocked with staples for these meals so you never have to worry about unexpected emergencies like last minute, unplanned meetings or doctor's appointments that could have your family running to MacDonald's or to the frozen section of your local supermarket.

All-day breakfast--When all else fails, fall back on eggs and toast, or even pancakes. Somehow, breakfast always tastes good, no matter the hour, and most people have eggs, bread, butter, flour, syrup, and other staples needed for such meals. Your family will never say no to breakfast for dinner.

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