The Telecommuting Mommy – Part II (or What’s for Dinner?)

It’s 4:30.   You’ve just put in a hectic day of computer work, the baby is teething, and everyone’s hungry!   Order a pizza?  Chinese takeout?  These options get old very quickly, and let’s face it – as busy as you are, you need energizing food to get you through.   It’s always best to have healthy, whole foods, but cooking them takes too much time, right?   It doesn’t have to.   There are options to get you through and have everyone eating better.One of my favorite tools for cooking while telecommuting is the crockpot.   In the morning or right after lunch (depending on whether or not you use high or low heat), you can throw in a nice piece of meat and some vegetables, a few spices, and 4 – 6 hours later, dinner’s done!   Use a larger portion of meat and vegetables, and baby, you got leftovers for tomorrow.   There are lots of great slowcooker cookbooks out there that are loaded with wonderful ideas.   No one will tire of slowcooked food!  (For some tasty vegetarian ideas, try VegWeb.)Whenever you find a recipe that works for you and your family, save it in an easy-to-find spot.   I have a recipe box, and in the front are partitions for the days of the week.   On the weekend, I take a couple minutes to put recipes into two or three of those slots so I know what’s coming and we can plan and have the groceries onhand.   Try and pick recipes that will make enough to last you a couple of days.   If you only have to cook two or three days a week, it will take a huge load off.Here’s a fun one: Let someone else do it!   Try and set aside a day every week for the older kids or dad to take care of dinner.   You may be eating pickle sandwiches, but it will be a great learning experience for older children and a night off for you.   And don’t totally rule out going out to dinner or having something brought in.   While eating out on a regular basis can be unhealthy, occasional trips out with the family or just you and your spouse can be a great way of releasing the pressures of the day.For some great meal ideas, do an online hunt.   There are so many great websites that feature easy, healthy recipes.   One of my favorites, www.allrecipes.com, is loaded with every conceivable recipe known to man.   So when dinnertime rolls around, don’t despair.  There are ways of feeding the family that can make life easier.  The best thing for us telecommuting mommies is simply to plan ahead, so thoughts of “What’s for dinner?” aren’t taking up valuable space in our already busy minds!For more telecommuting tips, check out Parts IIII, and IV

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