We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Back to School Meal Prep!

 

LOOK AT WHO AND WHEN

Sounds daft, but it’s not. In our house, we have five people who would normally sit down for dinner between 5 and 6 pm. Now, if that actually happened every night

then it would all be a doddle, but that isn’t the reality of family life. On at least one evening, Toby has football practice and then eats with Adam on the way home and

so, on those days, I don’t have to think about what those two might like/not like. Always look at who is going to be home and when, then plan accordingly. Need something fast because you don’t get home until 5.30 pm and they are all famished? Great, then you need a meal that is either done and waiting for you or can be ready in under 15 minutes. Everyone’s at home and you have a bit of time to spare? Then you can choose something with longer prep.

 

DON’T LET AGE HOLD YOU BACK

To elaborate – don’t let your kids’ ages hold you back. I learnt with Toby, that once he started weaning, I didn’t need to do something different for him. If we were eating a casserole, I would simply puree some for him. If we were eating a Sunday roast, he would have some veggies and Yorkshire pudding as fi nger food. It was so liberating to realise that I didn’t need to cook different things for him or waste money on pouches for the house. (I bought them for when we were out and about because they were SO much easier.)

 

TRY SOMETHING NEW EACH WEEK

If you want to force yourself out of your comfort zone and even enjoy a little creativity, then try something new every week. It could be that you want to try and cut back on your meat consumption, so a Meatless Monday is your chance to try a vegetarian recipe, or it might be that you want to try a specifi c food you haven’t before, like jackfruit. It could even be that you want to cook something fairly standard but try a recipe you have never done before. Whatever tickles your pickle, use your meal planning to make it happen once a week.

 

UTILISE PINTEREST

Ahh Pinterest, the place where our dreams of gloriously designed pantries and beautiful craft projects are held. While Pinterest seems like a place that is utterly

unrealistic, it’s actually my favourite place to find recipes. The internet has replaced cook books and magazines as my number one spot to grab new ideas for dinners and Pinterest is my Google of food. I type in things like ‘vegetarian meals in 15 minutes’ or ‘chicken casserole recipes’ or ‘quick family meals’ and it always delivers. And the best part is that it’s always being updated!

 

DO THE SHOPPING AS YOU GO

If you’re someone who gets their food delivered, I recommend you do your online shop at the same time as you plan your meals. You can select a recipe, check the cupboard and then add the necessary ingredients to your order. If you don’t shop online, you can still write your shopping list as you plan.

 

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CUPBOARDS AND SEARCH RECIPES BY INGREDIENTS

Remember what I said about cutting down on waste? The easiest way to do this is to check your cupboards and work from there. Typing into Pinterest ‘recipes using

XYZ’ will often yield results that will help you use up the products from the deep dark depths of your cupboard. It helps you save space in your kitchen too!

 

DON’T FORGET TO WRITE DOWN WHERE YOU FOUND THE RECIPE

Nothing is more annoying than buying all the ingredients and then having no idea where you got the recipe. It’s just not what you need at 4 pm on a Monday afternoon when you’re trying to crack on with dinner. Make a note on your meal plan of where to find your recipe (even if that is a link saved in your phone’s notes).

 

 

This is an extract from Mummin’ It by Harriet Shearsmith