De astăzi vom avea o nouă categorie de articole pe blog “Mama of four” scrise de o mămica pe care eu o admir extrem de mult. Vine din Statele Unite ale Americii, stabilită la noi alături de cei 4 copii și bineânțeles Dl Soț, face homeschooling cu ei și este cea mai calmă, caldă și răbdătoare mamă și femeie pe care eu o cunosc.

Iată primul ei post pe care îl puteti regăsi tradus și în română aici. Nu va fi tratus mot-a-mot, pentru că are un stil aparte de a scrie dar voi traduce informațiile importante pentru cine are nevoie de puțină organizare în bucătarie 🙂 Eu știu sigur că am nevoie!!!

“Once you have children, then you realize your life and this world is not only for you, it is for your children, and their children.”

I am Caitlyn, a constantly moving mom of four kids. Ages, 6.5, 5, 2.5, and 5 mo old. Since the amount of kids exceeds the amount of hands I have, my reality is doing 5-6-or more things all the time, at the same time. I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I cannot slow down time, or add hours to a day, I can’t do the million and one things I want to do or that I feel need to get done.

Things that not to long ago used to be easy daily happenings, like finding time AND energy to squeeze in a shower, or sit down with a coffee for five minutes, or write down my thoughts for a blog post (Haha!) all take much, much, longer then I would like. But, Hey! Moms are amazing multi-taskers, and our female brains are programmed for this! Right at this very moment I am cleaning the kitchen, playing with my 5 month old, getting recipe ingredients out for a tortilla recipe, writing a mental note for what I need my husband to pick up from the store after work, and jotting down blog post thoughts as they hit me.

Believe me, I do slow down, but when I do it is usually to connect with my children and my family. Otherwise I am busy doing things for them and us. As far as cooking and the kitchen go, as the years have passed I have learned how to streamline some processes and have managed to find a good flow of what works best for me and my family. This makes it possible for me to have more time other places and with the kids and other tasks, while still getting us fed!

Healthy food for my growing kids is top priority, and drives me in the kitchen. I love cooking for my family, and enjoy finding and experimenting with new recipes or ideas to incorporate into my kids diets. Part of how I am in the kitchen is trying to improve and change things every once in a while but also keeping the things that really work for my ease and for our health, of course!

I could go on and on if I had the chance, but I will instead write a few of the tips that I use every day and while planning meals.  These are just some of the things that help me stay sane while get the job of feeding four rapidly growing kids as well as my husband and myself accomplished. 😀

Tips I have learned to live by in the kitchen with kids;

Solid foundation: Whether you are a master month ahead menu planner, or meal-by-meal planner I think it is good to have go-to staple meals and a rotating meal calendar. Even if it is just a mental one.

Every family has different preferences for food, but if you find great meals that fit your family, repeat them! It gives rhythm to meal-planning and takes some of the guess work out of deciding what meals to prepare for your family (and makes food shopping that much easier as well!).

Taking a good look at how your menu looks and operates every once in a while can help for future planning. Maybe things are too chaotic and time consuming and it would be helpful to simplify some meals, or maybe your menu needs a boost in new energy and you want to add or switch something up.

Just searching for easy meal ideas online can give you tons of new ideas or maybe alterations to meals you already make! The internet is a great tool for recipes!

Start small: do little steps throughout the day or whenever you have a minute in the kitchen, to prepare for future “meals”.

 This may seem obvious to lots of people, but with kids around it will make your life easier. Little things like washing potatoes in the morning when you get a minute, even though they won’t be used until dinner, or getting things set out for a breakfast meal the night before, chopping extra veggies to store in the fridge for another meal, and so on.

Incorporating little helpful habits will end up giving you more time in the long-run, and will start to become second nature when you are in the kitchen. It helps avoid a stressful hour and a half or longer (with interruptions and kid chaos) of trying to get everything ready and done right before dinner.

Make a bit extra: prepping just a bit more then you need or making a larger dish of food can come in handy for the “in-between” times when prepping is behind, or gives you a break/breather.

 Left-overs are very helpful in our house, and they don’t last long, the kids or the husband usually use them up within the day. I think massive amounts of food that ends up going to waste gives people a bad taste in their mouth about leftovers.

If utilized correctly however, aside from an easy lunch for the kids, left-overs are great for when my husband is running out the door and needs a bite to eat or a packed lunch!

Also, some extras can be popped in the freezer, which will be helpful later on, some of my current favorites are hydrated beans, bread dough, soup broths, and fruit!!

Use cooking as a teacher:

Whenever I have extra time to spend prepping or cooking I let the kids help me! Of course this seems like such a small no-brainer of a tip, but some days I need to remind myself of it when I am rushing too much, to slow down and let the little hands help out!

Home is where kids learn so much, and the kitchen is a great learning tool, for a multitude of things; kitchen math, dexterity, patience, listening skills, turn taking, nutrition knowledge, and it also entertains the kids who naturally love to help and mine certainly love cooking.

OR for very young helpers, giving them a bowl and utensils with the same ingredients you are working with, it occupies them and makes them feel that they are working with you (without turning soon-to-be dinner into play/floor food). 🙂

Snack-times save time: Whether my kitchen is fully stocked or getting bare I always try to keep simple kids snacks on hand. Especially right now with a baby and three constantly hungry kids, this is super important for my sanity. It is a huge stress reliever if I am behind, or need more time to prep a meal.

 Grabbing food on-the-go or for a day out is easy, and keeps us away from unhealthier options. It is great for the kids too, fruits, seeds, nuts, veggies and dips, and ants-on-a-log, all easy relatively prep-free foods are perfect time creators and hunger delayers.

I am definitely not an expert, just experienced with what works with our family! Hope this gets your kitchen thoughts flowing, or maybe you know some other tips or tricks!

 

Sursa foto: Pixabay, arhiva personala, Two Healthy Kitchens

I am Caitlyn, a constantly moving mom of four kids. Ages, 6.5, 5, 2.5, and 5 mo. old. Since the amount of kids exceeds the amount of hands I have, my reality is doing 5-6-or more things all the time, at the same time. I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I cannot slow down time, or add hours to a day, I can’t do the million and one things I want to do or that I feel need to get done.

4 thoughts on “How I Manage To Simplify Our Kitchen”

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