Working and raising kids is no easy feat, especially if you are a single parent on your own, juggling both. The reality is difficult to comprehend. You have demands placed upon you from the minute you wake up, with hungry children, you go to work and have to pull your weight there, then you arrive home, tired, and need to tend to your kids again. This continues, day in day out. It’s not easy.
I can’t underestimate the fatigue many mums feel and this can impede motivation to spend time preparing and cooking food at home. There’s no time during the day and little at night, which makes buying food all the more appealing. However, most bought food has preservatives and additives that you would not put in your own cooking, including high levels of salt, sugar and fats, not to mention the numerical additives, symbolising colours etc.
By eating and preparing your own meals, you can be sure that you are eating well. This does take time. Since the working week is a write-off, set aside some time on the weekend to plan and prepare your food for the coming week. Here are some tips for things that I do to make my life easier through the week, while ensuring that the kids and I are eating foods that I’ve prepared. It will also save you money!
- Set Sundays aside to cook a big batch of something that will give you dinner both Sunday and Monday nights. Try casseroles and soups – see my casserole posts. Soups will follow soon.
- Cut up salad items and store in the fridge, so that through the week, you can pull them out, pop them on a plate, and just add some kind of meat and carb with it (like grilled fish and black eye beans from a can) – see my Too Tired To Cook! post
- Use a steamer to cook rice and vegetables (pre-prepared on weekend and stored in fridge ready to throw in steamer) and just add a meat to the side, like boiled eggs – too easy!
- Freeze leftovers, especially steamed rice and veggies, in little containers. These can be taken out of the freezer the night before and then re-heated. Perfect to give to your daughter if she has ballet classes on until late!
- Make cheese or Vegeminte rolls or sandwiches and freeze these for school lunches. All you need to do is take them out the night before and throw in a lunch box. If you don’t know what Vegemite is, you’re probably not an Aussie. Curious? See my link below.
- Bake cakes or muffins on the weekends and freeze portions for school lunches. Again, take out the night before and throw in lunch boxes. See my Banana, Choc Chip, Oat Muffin post for starters.
- Pre-prepare school lunches as best you can for the coming week by adding the fresh fruit in, some dried fruit and nuts. Just add in the sandwhich and baked item the night before.
- If you’re bringing a salad to work, and you’ve pre-prepared this, boil some eggs and keep these in the fridge to take too. Better still, boil some barley and keep in the fridge to add for your carb component.
Note: Eggs are really, really good for you. Apparently the Queen and Prince Phillip eat an egg each every day. I read that somewhere. Many people who live long lives also eat eggs regularly – read that study too somewhere. Moral of this story? Eggs are an easy option to add protein to your meals and they are full of amazing goodness. I usually eat one every day and have boiled ones in the fridge for the kids to snack on.
Note 2: Vegemite.
Never tasted out national Australian food? Even Amazon stock it. Amazing! Tip: do not put too much on your bread and butter. Only a sprinkle is needed. This is a staple spread in every Aussie household and it contains vitamin B.
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