For a single mom, time is always at a premium – after all, you’re filling the role of both mom and dad. That can all seem a little overwhelming at times, but as long as you have a plan, it doesn’t have to be more than you can handle. With a little bit of advanced planning you can be that organized mom that always seems to have her act together. This all starts with an organized kitchen, and while I don’t recommend cooking all of your kids’ meals in a microwave, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one on hand to warm up meals you’ve prepared ahead of time.
The Oven Shopper has some good options if your microwave is in need of replacement, but there are plenty of other great ideas to make mealtime easier for the single mom; we’ll take a closer look at those below.
Making Your Own Fresh Bread
All moms want the best for their children and that includes the freshest food possible, but who has time to make their own food from scratch? For most busy moms, it’s easier just to take the simple route and buy pre-made meals; offering your kids fresh food that they actually enjoy doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Have you thought about buying a bread maker for the home? You might not recognize every feature of the modern bread maker, as these are much different from the one your mom had. And that’s a good thing – these modern machines are much easier to use and essentially do all of the work for you. There’s no reason you can’t provide fresh homemade bread for your family at mealtime – all you need is a few minutes to add the ingredients, and the machine does the rest.
Speed Up Cooking with Convection
Conventional ovens are great, but if you’re late getting home and you don’t have time to wait an hour for a meal to cook because you have two hungry and cranky kids standing by, it may be time to consider alternative solutions. A popular choice is the convection oven, because it reduces cooking times and, as an added bonus, cooks your food more evenly. Convection technology is not new, but it has come down in price in recent years to the point that it’s now within reach of the single working mom. If you want to learn more about this technology and why it could be a good addition to your kitchen, check out this great article at Fine Cooking for some more background.
I have a friend that cooks all of her meals for the week on Sunday. She also happens to be a successful single mom and her great organizational skills have a lot to do with this. Sure, she spends a good portion of her Sunday cooking, but it’s something she enjoys and it makes the rest of her week a heck of a lot easier to handle. Every weeknight when she arrives home from work, she simply warms up one of the dinners in the oven or the microwave, depending on the nature of the meal, and sits back and kicks her feet up on the couch after a hard day at work. You can find some great tips to launch your own meal preparing Sunday routine here. Planning your meals like this can reduce a lot of stress from your work week and keep the kids satisfied by eating a healthy meal each day.
It might seem like a scary word for the mom that wants to make sure her kids eat healthy, but there’s nothing wrong with dedicating one night a week as “takeout” night. Everyone needs a treat once in a while, and if you eat healthy the rest of the week there’s no reason you can’t treat the kids to a pizza once a week (or whatever the household favorite is). It’s a treat for them and for you as it’s one less meal you have to prepare on Sunday. And you don’t even have to warm it up – all you have to do is pay the delivery guy.