Where did summer go? It seems I was just thinking about summer beginning and now here we are ready for winter! Personally I love falling back into a routine (even if it is crazy at times!). The one challenge I always face is feeding everyone when we are all running in 10 different directions, not to mention when I am spending 30-40 hours a week out of the house at work. I have found that having wholesome meals for home, school and work makes everyone happier and healthier. I finally feel like this year I’ve got a good plan of attack and hope you can benefit from it too.
Before We Get Cooking…
- Schedule – In order to make a solid plan, you need to know your schedule as well as the schedule of everyone else in your family. I have tried a lot of different methods, and ultimately I’ve realized you need to decide what works best for you. My favorite method is Google Calendar. I put in everything–and I mean everything. My work schedule is blocked out as well as any meetings or events I have during my work day (this calendar syncs to my work calendar). My husband’s class and work schedule are there. My son’s soccer games and practices, as well as the days that he is taking cold lunch are put in (more on that later). I also block off times for blog work, house cleaning tasks, meal times and homework time for my oldest son. Doing this allows me to really see what time I do have open.
- Planning lunches – My children are both in public schools and every month a calendar comes home that lists their lunches for every day. I go through this list first and automatically send a cold lunch for any day that has a pork option. Then I go through the remainder with my son to see what days he does want to eat hot lunch. I usually end up sending cold lunch 2-3 times a week. Having this mapped out a month in advance makes meal planning much easier for me. I also can make extra food at dinner time to carry over for lunch the next day.
- Planning dinners – Let’s face it, after working an 8+ hour day not many of us are dying to get home and cook dinner. It’s so much easier to grab some take out or throw together some type of basic meal. I am not against this; however, dinner does not have to be this way! As I mentioned in my interview with American Muslim Mom earlier this year, dinner time is our time to get together and connect. Here are some suggestions to help get dinner on the table easier.
Dinner Without the Stress
- Make a meal plan. There are countless resources on the internet for meal planning. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the concept and adapt it to work for your family. Some people like to try something new every day, others prefer themed days (Mexican Monday, Pizza Friday), and still others plan based on tried and true recipes from their repertoire. Schedule these meals into your calendar. It makes grocery shopping and meal preparation much easier.
- Pre-cook/prep food. Something that I am going more in depth about this fall on my blog is cooking for your freezer. If you Google “freezer cooking” you will find fabulous sites and recipes about cooking ahead and freezing. While one day will be a long day of cooking, the subsequent days or weeks will be so easy! Another tip that I have been implementing is prepping food. If I bring home 5 onions for the week’s meals, instead of chopping them when I need them, I chop them all at once and store them in the fridge. When it’s time to cook it’s a lot faster.
I’m going to continue this post in the future to discuss planning for breakfast as well as making time for the other duties at home. If you are a mom that works out of the home like myself, balancing these obligations becomes an extra challenge and I truly feel there is a lot of value in sharing what works!
My Challenges to You This Month:
- Create a calendar for your family that includes everything important to you.
- Commit to cooking and eating a home-cooked meal 3 days a week.
I hope you’ll leave a message in the comment section letting me know if you will accept my challenge and leave any other suggestions you have for making meal times easier for working Muslim moms!
- 5 Work-at-Home-Mom Tips That Make Achieving Home and Work Life Balance Easier
- Tips For Securing A Halal Hibachi Lunch
- Free 30-Minute eCookbook Giveaway- A Muslim’s Perspective
- Breakfast for the Working Mom: The Most Important Meal of the Day
- Preparing for a Simple Ramadan
Category: All in a Mom's Life