In this age of Pinterest and The Food Network, it can seem as if everyone loves to cook. Not only that, but they’re all scrambling to show everyone else just how appetizing, kid-friendly and all-around-wonderful their breakfasts, lunches and dinners can be. It can almost feel like a dirty little secret to admit:
“I hate to cook!”
I think a dislike for all things kitchen related is pretty common. I have to admit that there have been many times in my own life that I have dreaded the daily question:
“What’s for dinner?”
So, what can you do if you hate to cook, but have a simultaneous desire to provide healthy, yummy meals that you and your family can enjoy together?
Minimize your consumption of media.
Oddly enough, I find that the more I look at pictures of beautiful food, the less motivated I am to make dinner. I think it might have something to do with a decreased sense of confidence in my cooking skills. Or perhaps it’s the overload of ideas that gets me down. Whatever the reason, I have noticed that if I focus on just one or two media outlets for my cooking and recipe inspiration, I do much better. Try Produce for Kids’ recipe page for easy-to-follow ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time.
Make use of convenience foods.
Guess what? It’s not “cheating” if you use convenience foods in the bulk of your meals. By convenience foods I mean, pre-formed, frozen turkey burgers, frozen veggie medleys, and heat-and-serve bags of rice. If you hate to cook, but don’t want to eat out, these types of foods are the way to go. And luckily, every time I go to the grocery store I notice more and more (healthy!) options for families on the go.
Set realistic goals in the kitchen.
If you hate cooking today, chances are pretty good that you’re not going to become Rachael Ray tomorrow. If you’re looking to decrease your disdain in the kitchen, creating small, manageable goals is a better bet. Try cooking just one breakfast or snack per week or watching a video on how to make one of your favorite foods, like this Southwest Chicken Naan Pizza – and then make it yourself.
Remember what’s important.
What are the most important things at meal time? Having enough healthy foods to sustain our family’s good health. Enjoying a moment or two of conversation and connection with our loved one. What’s not important? One-upping our Facebook friends on the glamour of our mealtime. Following the latest trends on what’s cool to eat. Keeping your mind focused on the simple things needed to make a successful meal might just make you dread cooking a little bit less.