I really enjoy cooking and making food for my family… most of the time. There are a lot of times that I get into this place where I find cooking becoming tedious and unenjoyable. The meal planning, grocery shopping, putting it away and then meal prep can take so much time and I know it has a lot to do with why it feels tedious.
When Cooking Becomes Tedious
The crazier my life gets the more tedious cooking feels to me. During these times, I have to work hard at finding my joy to serving my family in the kitchen and working to keep our meals healthy.
I have found that without a good plan in place and structured time to implement the plan, life itself just overwhelms me and gets me feeling like each meal could be Mt. Everest for me to climb and conquer.
I know I'm not alone in this never-ending cycle of meeting my family's needs for nutrition and I wanted to empower you, and myself, with some things that can make a world of difference, even in the craziest of times.
Meal Planning As a Family
Part of my frustration has been not being able to please everyone with my meals. My family still eats it, but you know how rewarding a meal is when everyone loves it.
I decided that if I involve my whole family and require that everyone needs to eat the meals with a good attitude that it will eliminate the frustration that cooking can bring when it isn't appreciated as much.
We have 6 people in our family, so when planning for 2 weeks of meals, we each get to decide on 2 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, plus a snack of their choice.
Since there are two meals left in our meal planning, we plan for convenient meals that take minimal prep work and ones that we all like.
This has been such an amazing way to help with the feeling of cooking becoming tedious.
Assign Meals to Each Family Member
This has been out of necessity for me but it really has been a blessing, as well as teaching life-skills to all of our children.
My children love pancakes (but I don't), so when my oldest son doesn't work, he makes his choice of pancakes for the family. They love it and I love not having to make a meal. My youngest, who is five, loves peanut butter! He loves it with crackers, apples or an bread. He has already learned how to spread the peanut butter, and just recently he has learned how to use the apple slicer to help with one of our healthier lunches… and he loves it!
My daughter does most of our lunches, since she works from home and offered to help with these meals. Our 12 year old helps out with a few dinner meals, as he learns how to make more meals.
Plan For Quick Meals
I love using my slow cooker and rice cooker to make meals, but some days are so crazy that I don't get the chance to start them in the morning, so when dinner comes around, I love to have quick meals that take less than 30 minutes from start to table. Freezer meals are great for these but if we don't have time for those, I love that I can pull together some of our favorite meals that also happen to be quick meals and having them when we need them.
Keeping Fresh Ideas In the Kitchen
Nothing takes away the tedious part of cooking like a new recipe that your family loves. I often fall in the habit of rotating the same meals over a few weeks planning and nothing is exciting about the same meal… again.
I love finding recipes that work for other families that are as busy as I am.
Many of our favorite meals, which also happen to be quick meals, are from friends that had us over to dinner. Trying new recipes, flavors, or seasonings can really make you excited in the kitchen again.