Now I know time isn't always on your side as a parent of small children, in fact time to cook is almost non existent when you're juggling all the major factors involved in raising a family.
So here's what I found to be the most rewarding part of having a baby food business for over 4 years... I gave parents some time back. They could spend their time either recouping or prioritising their kids other needs instead of standing over the stove every night. THIS can be life changing when you know your kids are eating good wholesome meals and you're not a hot mess every day trying to provide good food.
While I don't sell food any more, I want to share a valuable tip with you that could give you the gift of time back, without compromising on your child's nutrition.
TIP : When you're making a meal for your family, double up on the ingredients and freeze the cooked food in portions (I love to use silicone muffin trays) for another meal time in the weeks to come. Just freezing 4-6 extra portions of mac and cheese will mean you have one weekday dinner covered for the next MONTH.
Here's a sample meal plan to cover you for an entire month, just by doubling up and freezing portions from 5 home cooked dinners. (I've thrown in an extra night just incase you're looking for an additional WEEK worth of meals to pull from the freezer!)
Sunday: Butternut Mac & cheese - portion and freeze a muffin tray of 6 portions
Monday: Beef & veggie casserole and rice - portion and freeze a muffin tray of 6 portions
Tuesday: Chicken strips and sweet potato mash - portion and freeze a muffin tray of 6 portions
Wednesday: Meatballs in sauce & peas and corn - portion and freeze a muffin tray of 6 portions
Thursday: Spaghetti Bolognese (lentil/lamb mince is a good alternative) - portion and freeze a muffin tray of 6 portions
Friday: Pizza night! Order in or make an extra pizza and individually ziplock bag 6 slices separately.
YOU NOW HAVE 36... YES 36 NIGHTS OFF!!! and all you had to do was freeze extra portions for 6 nights in a row.
Here's some maths for those who have read this far :
If you cook and freeze one muffin tray of meals for 6 dinners in a row from January1st - January 6th, the next time you have to think about another meal for your toddler will be FEBRUARY THE 13TH! Amazing right?!
So the next time you whip up a meal for the family, double up and freeze a tray of portions for the future! This frees you up to have a spicy curry or sushi date night with your partner over a glass of wine without having to even put a moments thought into what you're going to feed your toddler, and could be the difference between living in a cycle of chicken nuggets or having some evening mealtime freedom to reconnect over more adventurous food for yourself.
Things to remember :
Use a silicone tray so it's easy to take out portions and wash the tray.
Once the portions are frozen over night, remove them from the tray and store in the freezer in a sealed ziplock bag.
Date the bag so you can keep track of freshness.
Heat up the portions in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes and make sure you stir or mix well before serving to ensure there are no hot spots in the food.
Make sure to be conscious of freezer lifespan for different food groups, see chart here.
Some inspiration for you...