1 Essential Tip to Simplify Meal Time

No one prepared me for the fact that 58% of parenting is just feeding people. Another 40% is cleaning up after feeding people. If you’re like me and drowning under the mental pressure of “whats for dinner?” (and breakfast, and morning snack, and lunch, and afternoon snack, and bedtime snack …), use this one tip to make it easier: freeze things!

I recently purchased the “Real Easy Weekdays” meal plan from Kids Eat in Color. I figured out that cooking wasn’t my problem. The pile of dishes wasn’t my problem. My problem was the constant figuring out of ideas. If someone could just tell me what to feed my family, I’d happily execute.

So, I bought the plan and committed to 12 Days. While not every part of the meal plan worked great for me, two things did.

First: I wasn’t putting in the mental effort to dream up dinner. I wasn’t imagining my children gobbling up my hand-made veggies pies and thinking, “I’ll be so successful tonight!” I was a step removed. I was making a recipe someone else picked. Take it or leave it, kids.

Second: the meal plan encouraged me to make better use of my freezer. Every day, one meal was planned to be made in bulk and frozen for five extra servings for the whole family. Cook once, eat five times. I realized the beauty of this in many of my recipes.

Example: Mondays are pancake day in my house. For Christmas, I was gifted a waffle maker. You know what’s even easier than pancakes? Waffles, apparently! You push the button, wait until the light is green, pour the batter, and wait until the light is green again. Easy. Peasy.

One batch of my waffle mix would yield enough for 4-6 Belgian waffles. My kids will eat 1/2 of one. Solution? For me, it used to be to make 3 waffles, pour the rest of the mix out, and still end up throwing away 2 waffles. What was I thinking?

I realized I could make the entire batch, 6 Belgian waffles, and freeze 3-4 waffles. Or, while I was at it, why not make 12 Belgian waffles, and freeze 10 waffles for another day! Brilliant!

I have started applying this to most of my baking recipes (My kids like one piece of banana bread, then they’re over it! Freeze the loaf, and voila!). I’ve also frozen fried rice, Beef Bulgogi, and more soup than I can count on both hands. Here are some of my favorite recipes for the freezer.

Beet & Buckwheat Waffles (Also, Blueberry! All the B’s)

Steak Fried Rice

Beef Bulgogi