After this past year of being stuck in your kitchen, the cooking fatigue may be fully set in. If you are one of the many parents struggling with the lack of time and energy that making multiple meals for your family requires, then check out these 6 tips on how to fight cooking fatigue. 

1. Keep it simple when it comes to meals 

Preparing nutritious foods for meals does not have to be complicated. You do not have to make perfectly balanced meals from scratch every night to have a tasty and nutritious plate of food. Preparing kid-favorites such as grilled cheese, burgers, and pizza can all be served alongside a veggie and fruit. Serving no-cook meals is also an excellent way to save time and energy when it comes to meals. Just grab some whole wheat bread, deli slices, cheese, and lettuce and you have an easy and nutritious lunch. Keeping meals simple will save you a lot of headaches, especially if you are feeling burnt out when it comes to preparing meals. 

2. Batch cook and freeze the leftovers 

If you are feeling the stress of cooking multiple meals a day week after week, then you may want to try the cook once, eat twice method. It takes significantly less time to double a recipe than to cook two separate meals. You can serve the same dish for lunch the next day or even pack the leftovers in the freezer (be sure to label and date the items so you know what it is and how long it has been in there). This way, you can save these items for days when you do not have time or energy to cook. 

3. Use up the leftover veggies in your fridge at the end of the week 

It seems inevitable that a few vegetables are leftover in the fridge at the end of each week. Instead of tossing them out because you do not have a recipe to use them in, create recipes to utilize these odds and ends veggies. A few good recipes to throw in these vegetables are pasta dishes, soups, stir-fries, omelets, and even blending them into sauces. Preparing meals this way can eliminate the stress of having to plan out meals; you can just toss in those leftover veggies and create a delicious and nutritious meal for the whole family. 

4. Add pre-prepped foods onto your shopping list 

A great way to prevent cooking fatigue is to reduce the amount of time you spend preparing and cooking meals. Buying pre-cooked and pre-chopped foods to use in your weekly meals can save you time and energy. Convenience foods such as pre-cut produce, pre-washed bagged salads, jarred sauces, microwavable grains, frozen burger patties, or stir-fry kits are all excellent options for cutting your prep time in half. 

5. Try customizable meals kits

If you are feeling the fatigue of planning and cooking meals but still want delicious and nutritious meals, then you may want to try meal kits to help reduce the prep work for cooking meals. This might not be for everyone, but if you have the means to do so, it can drastically change the amount of time you spend both at the grocery store and in the kitchen. There are a few larger companies that offer a wide range of customizable options that will keep you from getting bored with your meals and there are also smaller companies that can offer more locally sourced meal options as well. 

6. Use an Instant Pot for hands-off cooking 

When cooking, using the Instant Pot is a good way to speed up the cooking process. This tool can take off the stress of having to be present when cooking, all you have to do is toss in your ingredients and let it do all the work. Instant Pots are also a versatile tool that can be used for steaming, sauteing, and even making yogurt. It is a one-stop shop for all your cooking needs, especially if you are experiencing cooking fatigue.