There’s a special ring to that phrase – “home cooked meals”. It conjures up images of a family setting, fresh foods, warmth, love, healthy eating and comfort.
What is a home cooked meal, though?
Does the phrase only refer to meals that are made from scratch, all sauces and dishes made in the home kitchen? Or does it include meals made at home using some pre-prepared items?
In a perfect world, we would all be having nutritious, balanced meals every time we sit down at a table. The ingredients would be fresh and no preservatives or additives would be considered, and the flavours would make our mouths water.
The reality is that not many of us have the time or energy to cook like that everyday.
It is also true that there are alternatives that are also healthy, fill empty tummies and take less time. And some of them even taste pretty good, too!
Busy Mums can do a good job of feeding their families even if they don’t cook gourmet, or even balanced meals every night. Accepting that we have busy lives and need to make things quicker sometimes is a useful step in reducing stress in our lives.
The overall diet and lifestyle is more important than any individual meal. So having boiled eggs and toast tonight is fine, as long as you’ve had some fruit during the day or have a big serve of vegetables tomorrow night.
Quick meals can be the saviour during the busy week, but a full home cooked meal over the weekend is a good way to balance things out and ensure some quality family time. Why not get various family members to actually help prepare a great meal each weekend?
If you feel uncomfortable not cooking from scratch most nights, the other option is to cook a lot each time and put meal portions into containers in the fridge or freezer. This will give your family good meals without costing you as much time each day, and it doesn’t take much longer to make a huge pot of soup or bolognaise sauce compared to a small one.
Tash Hughes is a Melbourne mother of two. She is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content. Tash also writes articles for magazines, newsletter and websites.