Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 7th, 2017, 17:22 PM   1
wildflower79
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: N. Yorkshire
Posts: 1,007

How do you cook dinner for the family?


Does anybody else find this so difficult? I seem to have lost all enthusiasm and just trying to think of different things to cook that we'll all like to eat makes me so stressed.

I have a 5 year old and a nearly 18 month old and a hubby who's at work 7-7 most days. Late afternoons are so stressful, what with trying to help DD1 with reading/homework, and generally spending a bit of time with her playing. Dd2 is usually starting to get tired and cranky and wanting to be held or cuddled or read to. Dd1 also has activities she needs taking to and picking up from, so there never seems to be much time to do any cooking.

On the odd days I actually get chance to make dinner, we never seem to have stuff in and I can never think what to make. It doesn't help that I'm vegetarian, hubby likes meat and the girls are pretty fussy. Everyone wants something different!

What are dinner times like in your house? How often do you cook from scratch? Any tips/tricks to make cooking dinner easier.

I used to love cooking, but now it just seems like a right chore!
.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 7th, 2017, 18:13 PM   2
Scout
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Southern US
Posts: 4,126
I hate to cook! I'm single and so it's just me and daughter who is 4. Honestly, I don't usually eat dinner, so I cook for dd....or I heat up for dd. I try to make some things that I can freeze which makes it a bit easier.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 8th, 2017, 02:52 AM   3
george83
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,424
Our meals are pretty boring so not much help on that front but I have found the only way I get to cook proper meals is to cook earlier in the day and then just re-heat in the evening.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 8th, 2017, 08:28 AM   4
Bevziibubble
Mum (Mom)
BnB God
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK ☔
Posts: 100,527
I find it difficult to cook for us all as we are all so different. I tend to eat quite healthy, whereas my husband hates the sight of a vegetable! My daughter is quite fussy and limited in her tastes and won't have anything mixed or with sauces on. Luckily my son eats everything. I find I make three different meals most days and it's very time consuming and frustrating!



 
Status: Online
 
Old Jul 8th, 2017, 15:38 PM   5
loeylo
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,813
I'm a take it or leave it cook. I do a meal plan on Sunday, but what we need, and I usually make extra and freeze a few portions. If my partner doesn't want a meal from the list, he can grab something from the freezer. My daughter gets what we give her and if she doesn't eat it then she goes hungry, there has never been an alternative. If we are eating different meals, she gets a bit of each. She eats 99% of our meals, the only ones she won't eat are ones with a lot of dairy (she can only tolerate a small amount) or one curry I make that is so hot nobody other than my partner and I can eat it. If we are having something she can't have then I do beans on toast or another easy meal.

Have a freezer stash. It's a lifesaver!



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 8th, 2017, 17:15 PM   6
lau86
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Uk
Posts: 8,755
1) I have a kitchen diner so I can see the children while I cook
2) the children eat at nannys 2 days a week as we both work late
3) they have simple pasta with sweet corn, peas (all boiled in one pan) with grated cheese about once a week
4) I wing it!!



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 9th, 2017, 05:52 AM   7
Rainbow82
Trying to conceive (TTC)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,026
Not so much help now but in the winter the slow cooker is my best friend, I just chop everything I. The mornings And throw it in with some kind of meat for OH and DS and I have a smaller slowcooker for myself that I won't add meet to as I'm a vegetarian.
If I get a chance on weekends or something I will also batch cook. Yesterday DS napped for longer than usual so I made a batch of Quorn mince with tomatoes, onions peppers and mushrooms with garlic in. I froze some into bolognese portions, made a quick lasagne with some then made cannelloni the test for dinner yesterday and topped with the white sauce I made for the lasagne. If I make a batch of mixed beans I'll do the same and make some into lasagne or add chill is to a portion to make a chilli and freeze the extra portions.

If I'm making a sauce for pasta (Pasata, garlic, onions, chill is etc) I will freeze some into ice cubes too. I always have pita bread in the freezer so I can make a quick meal of outa pizzas, defrost an ice cube of sauce, add grated cheese and ping a bag of steam fresh veg.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 10th, 2017, 08:59 AM   8
MindUtopia
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Dorset, UK
Posts: 9,495
I think the key is really all about planning and having the expectation that everyone eats the same thing as a family, so there's no faffing around trying to make different things to please everyone. It's a bit different as I work full-time and we both work long hours, but I imagine I wouldn't do things much differently if I was still at home (other then I'd have more time for planning and shopping, which I used to be able to do more of during the week days). I do two shops a week, Saturday and Tuesday (Tuesday one is online delivery though). On Saturday morning, I sit down for 30 minutes and plan out the meals for Saturday through Tuesday, and on Sunday I do the same for Tuesday through Friday. I cook nearly everything from scratch, though we might have the occassional like meal for 2 type ready meal on a Saturday night just for the 2 of us, or like I buy ready made fish cakes, but then make the chips and veg from scratch, that sort of thing. But it's 90% made from scratch every day. I plan it so I get double use out of certain things, so we might make bolongnese on a Monday to have with pasta and then it doubles in cottage pie the next night. Or I'll make a big batch of something everyone really likes enough to have two days in a row (lentil stew) and then I don't have to cook the next day. The planning is really key. We live 30 minutes from our closest shop, so no chance of running out to get something I forgot or because everyone changed their minds and wants something different.

Then I set aside an hour every night for meal prep. It doesn't mean I'm doing nothing else during that hour, but I know I have at least that. I get done work at pick my daughter up at 5. Then from 5:30/5:45-6:30/6:45 I cook dinner. She often helps with some of the prep so we get to spend time together and talk about her day (she's 4). She's helped me from about 20 months or so. Or if she doesn't want to, she can sit and draw at the table. Often from 6-6:30, she'll watch some tv or videos. About half the work week (2-3 days) I work 6am-7pm, so my husband does the same on those days. It means we don't do much else besides cook and do dishes in the late afternoons, but I imagine that's what most people have to do because life is busy and you have to get those things done. If you're home during the day, you might have a bit more flexibility to carve out time when you can do those sorts of tasks though so the afternoons aren't so manic. It's amazing what you can get done if you just take 15 minutes while your younger one plays with something on the floor in the kitchen, then it's all prepped and ready to go for later. Definitely second a slow cooker or an instant pot, and making extra and freezing if you don't want to eat exactly the same the next day.

And the other thing is just not driving yourself insane making special meals for everyone. When my daughter was a baby (up til about 18-20 months), she did eat separately from us because she went to bed earlier, but she still mostly ate the same things (leftovers from dinner the night before, which I used to cook for the two of us after I put her to bed). I only occasionally made her a different meal (like if we had a spicy curry). Now we all eat together and we all eat the same things. I've never made a big deal about her eating food, but if she doesn't eat, she doesn't get something else. I don't have time to be catering to everyone's wants. I make healthy, tasty meals and everyone can eat what they like or not if they don't, and that's mostly worked. Same with my husband. I also used to be a vegetarian (I do eat meat now as I found my diet just needed to change after I had my daughter). But though I eat meat now, I didn't for like the 6 years we were together including up til about when our daughter turned 2. The rule was, I did most of the cooking, if he didn't like eating vegetarian, he was welcome to cook something else to supplement the main meal. So if I made a vegetarian pasta, sometimes he would come home from work and cook his own sausages or chicken to go with it. Everyone was happy that way. He got what he liked, but I wasn't running around stressed making 3 different meals every night.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 10th, 2017, 09:49 AM   9
Midnight_Fairy
Other
BnB Spammer Elite
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 45,391
Me and my OH but eat to live so food is not a big deal. I'd eat toast everyday and so would he lol. We usually have pasta x2,mash and sausages, chippy, curry. He cooks a few times a week. If I don't get a chance to coOK we have jacket spuds. No one minds here. No big deal x



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Jul 10th, 2017, 10:23 AM   10
loeylo
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindUtopia View Post
I think the key is really all about planning and having the expectation that everyone eats the same thing as a family, so there's no faffing around trying to make different things to please everyone. It's a bit different as I work full-time and we both work long hours, but I imagine I wouldn't do things much differently if I was still at home (other then I'd have more time for planning and shopping, which I used to be able to do more of during the week days). I do two shops a week, Saturday and Tuesday (Tuesday one is online delivery though). On Saturday morning, I sit down for 30 minutes and plan out the meals for Saturday through Tuesday, and on Sunday I do the same for Tuesday through Friday. I cook nearly everything from scratch, though we might have the occassional like meal for 2 type ready meal on a Saturday night just for the 2 of us, or like I buy ready made fish cakes, but then make the chips and veg from scratch, that sort of thing. But it's 90% made from scratch every day. I plan it so I get double use out of certain things, so we might make bolongnese on a Monday to have with pasta and then it doubles in cottage pie the next night. Or I'll make a big batch of something everyone really likes enough to have two days in a row (lentil stew) and then I don't have to cook the next day. The planning is really key. We live 30 minutes from our closest shop, so no chance of running out to get something I forgot or because everyone changed their minds and wants something different.

Then I set aside an hour every night for meal prep. It doesn't mean I'm doing nothing else during that hour, but I know I have at least that. I get done work at pick my daughter up at 5. Then from 5:30/5:45-6:30/6:45 I cook dinner. She often helps with some of the prep so we get to spend time together and talk about her day (she's 4). She's helped me from about 20 months or so. Or if she doesn't want to, she can sit and draw at the table. Often from 6-6:30, she'll watch some tv or videos. About half the work week (2-3 days) I work 6am-7pm, so my husband does the same on those days. It means we don't do much else besides cook and do dishes in the late afternoons, but I imagine that's what most people have to do because life is busy and you have to get those things done. If you're home during the day, you might have a bit more flexibility to carve out time when you can do those sorts of tasks though so the afternoons aren't so manic. It's amazing what you can get done if you just take 15 minutes while your younger one plays with something on the floor in the kitchen, then it's all prepped and ready to go for later. Definitely second a slow cooker or an instant pot, and making extra and freezing if you don't want to eat exactly the same the next day.

And the other thing is just not driving yourself insane making special meals for everyone. When my daughter was a baby (up til about 18-20 months), she did eat separately from us because she went to bed earlier, but she still mostly ate the same things (leftovers from dinner the night before, which I used to cook for the two of us after I put her to bed). I only occasionally made her a different meal (like if we had a spicy curry). Now we all eat together and we all eat the same things. I've never made a big deal about her eating food, but if she doesn't eat, she doesn't get something else. I don't have time to be catering to everyone's wants. I make healthy, tasty meals and everyone can eat what they like or not if they don't, and that's mostly worked. Same with my husband. I also used to be a vegetarian (I do eat meat now as I found my diet just needed to change after I had my daughter). But though I eat meat now, I didn't for like the 6 years we were together including up til about when our daughter turned 2. The rule was, I did most of the cooking, if he didn't like eating vegetarian, he was welcome to cook something else to supplement the main meal. So if I made a vegetarian pasta, sometimes he would come home from work and cook his own sausages or chicken to go with it. Everyone was happy that way. He got what he liked, but I wasn't running around stressed making 3 different meals every night.
I actually think it was some of your posts which inspired my attitude to feeding my daughter! She's an amazing eater now, she even eats things like olives and sushi! I honestly think it's just because she was never offered alternatives, except when she was younger she would get a bottle if she didn't eat.



 
Status: Offline
 

SEO by vBSEO