When you hear “simple family dinner,” your mind probably jumps to the list of takeout menus in the kitchen drawer. But before you dial up your local pizza place, we’d like to offer a few (healthier and less expensive!) options.
Here are three ways to simplify dinner time so you spend less preparing and more time eating as a family.
1. Pick one night to prep everything.
Yep, you heard us: everything. Wash and chop the veggies, layer casseroles to freeze, prep crock pot “dump” bags, and anything else you can do ahead. When weeknight dinners roll around, you’ll only have a few things to do (or defrost) before dinner is on the table. (Need an activity to keep the little ones busy while you cook? Check out these 7 creativity-boosting ideas.)
Sunday can be a great day to get everything done because you’ll have most of the day to chop, roast, freeze, and get on with your bad, super-prepped mama self.
2. Leave the heavy lifting to the pros.
Save yourself hours spent grocery shopping by subscribing to a recipe delivery service! We love Sun Basket because it provides organic, non-GMO, and sustainably sourced ingredients for every meal. The pre-portioned ingredients make it easy to get kids involved in cooking, which many experts agree is one of the best ways to thwart pickiness. Choose the family plan to get two to four recipes delivered every week — they’ve even got gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options available.
3. Delegate some of the cooking.
Don’t worry, we’re not recommending giving your toddler free reign of the kitchen. Start with simple tasks like mixing and adding ingredients to start training little ones to help out. As their motor skills and attention span improve, your child can help with scooping, measuring, and plating. (Bonus points: You can totally work in an impromptu math lesson here!) Trust us: Your kid makes the cutest sous chef ever.
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