If you used to read my blog a few years ago, I was all about the meal planning and prep. My priorities were different, and I wanted to be able to have some flexibility after work to go to yoga class, make visits to the chiropractor, or take Body Pump. So I spent a few hours on Sunday prepping lots of food so that dinners were easy to make throughout the week.
Now, I’m busy for different reasons. I’m home more but I have my hands full- literally. For a while dinner time was unpredictable as Grayson may or may not have been taking a late afternoon nap and I could get dinner on the table. But now he is on a regular 2 nap a day schedule and that last nap ends between 3 and 4 pm. So at dinner time he is wide awake, and usually wanting to be held.
Sure the Ergo is great, but not when you have a 10 month old who wants to face out and grab EVERYTHING in the kitchen. So my options are leaving him in an exersaucer while I cook, or getting dinner ready in advance. I am lucky enough that someone is home with him every day- either me or my mom. So I do some prep on the weekends, and then whoever is home with him can do some during his nap time.
Meal Ideas For When You Have Your Hands Full
The key has been finding meals that are easy to make ahead of time. Certain recipes like crock pot dishes, casseroles, or sheet pan meals have worked out well. Anything I can pop in the oven or the microwave is a win! I basically avoid the stove and knives while Grayson is around and try not to make too many extra dishes.
I thought I would compile a list of recipes that I have found that have been great to make either over the weekend or earlier in the day. Even if you don’t have a squirmy infant, these are great for anyone who has their hands full, literally or figuratively!
Crock Pot Dishes
Meal Planning Tip
One way that I try to stay organized now with my meal planning is by using Google Docs. I have an excel workbook where I keep all my meals for the week, links to the recipes, and grocery list. This way I can access them from anywhere (personal laptop, work laptop, or phone) so if I think of something throughout the week I can add it. I have a separate sheet for each week so I can go back and look at past weeks for ideas!
Hopefully you can find something that you can make ahead for a busy day! And if you have any suggestions for keeping a 10 month old entertained while doing stuff in the kitchen, I’m open to suggestions!
What’s your favorite make-ahead meal?
Do you cook dinner at home every night?
Do you have any meal planning or meal prep tips?
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