Fall Remedies For Overwhelmed Mommies
By Elyse Falk, MS, RD
Fall is almost here! With school starting and the laid back days of summer ending, schedules begin to get busy again. Even though I am a dietitian, I am still a mom, and have to admit that even I get crazed with having to decide what to cook for dinner for my family and myself. I have to figure out when to prepare it, and if I have enough time to do so, along with coordinating when to have food ready with my boys coming home at different times. It is exhausting! My clients face these same challenges and oftentimes have no one to help prep, cook, or clean up. So what would I, with these same problems, tell them? First, remember that no one can be superman or superwoman every night. Not every dinner will be a home-cooked meal and that’s okay! Go through your schedule and be realistic; figure out the days where cooking will be the most feasible and then consider this advice:Photo Credit: BobPetUK via Compfight cc
- Pick a weekend day and use it for prep; cut vegetables for soups or salads, cook rice or beans to refrigerate until ready, and chops onions and garlic for easy flavor boosts
- If you have time earlier in the day, prepare food and save it to heat and eat later
- Buy one prepared item and use it in a multitude of ways! If you a buy a rotisserie chicken, for instance, you can add it to lots of things: tortillas, yellow rice and beans, soups, pasta, quinoa, salad, or chop it up to make chicken salad
- Tacos are fun and easy to prepare, so make it taco night! Chop your toppings beforehand, store, and pull them out while the meat or beans are cooking
- Stock up on organic, low sodium, high nutrition frozen foods and prepare a vegetable and whole grain to accompany it. My kids love Amy’s Organic Mexican Bowls, Amy’s Organic Pizza Spinach Munchies, Dr. Praeger’s Fish Sticks, and pre-frozen veggie burgers that you can top with cheese and avocado and put in a whole grain bun. Remember, kids can have carbs!!
- Everyone loves breakfast for dinner! Omelet’s and pancakes are quick and easy. Add the chopped veggies from Sunday and throw some fruit in the pancakes and enjoy!
- Soup is another great “heat and eat” meal! Prepare on a weekend or less busy night and freeze until needed. Chicken noodle with veggies, hearty bean soups, barley soups, or thick chili on a cold night are wonderful. Pair with some crusty bread and top with cheese or avocado and you have an easy meal
- And last but not least, experiment with a slow cooker. This is a great way to prep casseroles, pulled pork, or even pasta sauces with little effort except for setting it and forgetting it.