Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tips for Mom to Multi-Task in the Kitchen

As moms, most of us seem to have 4 full time jobs. We're wives, mothers and housekeepers, along with also having a full-time career. Learning to multi-task and getting various things done at a time can help give you more quality time with your family and possibly more free time to pamper yourself as well.
Make Dinner & Lunches at the Same Time
When making dinner, try to make extra of the main protein you're serving. For example, if you're making grilled chicken for dinner, make 2-3 times the amount. The extra that is made can be used for chicken sandwiches the next day and a chicken pasta dish the next evening. If you have enough and your family doesn't mind, serve it in a salad the following night. Cooking two to three times the amount does not mean much extra work since it will all fit in the oven or barbecue and will all cook at the same time. You'll also save time cleaning up. If you make your kids' lunches while making dinner, you'll only have to clean up the kitchen once instead of twice!
Easy Marinades
Not sure what to marinate your meat, poultry or fish in for dinner tonight? Don't have time to make a marinade or run out to the store and buy one? Simply use the Italian vinaigrette dressing that you're serving with your salad or the condiments you used at lunch. Pour over the chicken, refrigerate for a 2-3 hours & cook If you don't have dressing, try using light mayo and lemon juice. If you have cilantro, add chopped cilantro as well. Both are marinades that give poultry, fish or meats a tangy taste your family will love.
Breakfast for the Week
If you're like me, you have a hard time finding healthy, light options for breakfast. Most of the foods available are donuts, bagels, scones, breakfast sandwiches and other high fat, high calorie foods. Egg white omelettes with veggies would be ideal but who has time to make one every morning when you have kids to get ready? Well, you don't have to make them every morning! When you make your omelet for breakfast on Saturday or Sunday morning, just a few more for each day of the week. The kitchen is already getting messy from making breakfast for the family so it'll only take a few more minutes, 20 minutes tops, to make the rest of your breakfasts for the week! You'll save time during the week since your breakfasts for the week will be all set and you'll also save adding many extra calories to your daily calorie intake! Not to mention, you'll also save money if you're like most people that go to their local fast food drive thru for a breakfast sandwich on the go!
Teach Your Toddler Manners & Life Skills
While I'm cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen, my daughter is usually in the kitchen with me. She loves to play with the plastic containers, pots and pans. While doing that, I try and make the most of our time together by also helping her learn life skills and manners. When I have something I need to throw away, I ask her if she can please throw it in the trash for me. Since she began walking at a year old, she's known where the trash is and where trash belongs. If I'm putting dry dishes away, I ask her to please put the pot, pan or plastic container in the right drawer. She is able to recall where they belong and stack them correctly, as most kids do with stackable toys. She also knows where the laundry basket is and that all dirty clothing and rags go there. When a dish rag needs to be taken to the laundry basket, she knows exactly where it is and takes it there. She now does the same thing with her clothing and has been doing so since she learned to walk. Practicing this in the kitchen and with laundry has also carried over into her room and play area. She puts all of her toys away after playing and has been doing so since she turned 1.

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