How to Fill the Freezer with Your Kids Around

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Want to do some freezer cooking but not sure how to fill the freezer with kids around? There IS a way! And it’s not as hard as you think.

boy in blue apron cooking in kitchen

You probably already know that having a few extra meals in the freezer can be a huge boost to your well-being. Not only will you have dinner all ready to go, but you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and decision fatigue in not wondering WHAT to make for dinner.

Every mom needs a freezer full of homemade goodness to feed her family.

The trick, however, is getting that freezer FULL — particularly when you’ve got little ones about.

It can be difficult to make one dinner on any given night, but multiple batches?! What magic is this that you speak of?

It’s all well and good to stash meals in the freezer so that you don’t have to cook every night, but cooking with children underfoot can compromise a mother’s efforts at efficiency.

The first time I did “once-a-month cooking” my eldest child was still in utero. He didn’t get in between me and a speed cooking session.

However, times change and so do kids — and family size. When you have little ones, making a piece of toast can seem to take hours. Forget about 30 meals!

So, how do you fill the freezer kids around?

How to Fill the Freezer with Kids Around

It is possible to pull off big batch cooking with kids and sometimes, in spite of them. These same techniques will also come in handy when you’re preparing special holiday dinners as well, like Thanksgiving, Hanukah, or Christmas.

Try out these strategies and see if they don’t help you fill the freezer even when you’ve got kids around.

Get a Babysitter.

Consider inviting Nanna to spend the day or weekend with you with the express purpose of watching the kids so that you can fill the freezer. If needed, enlist the aid of a tweenage “mother’s helper” or even hire a regular babysitter.

Having some focused time to cook, even at babysitting rate, can still buy you some time – both on cooking day and in later weeks when you were reaping the benefits of your big cooking day.

Make Use of Videos, Audio Resources, and Computer Games.

Call this “free babysitting” if you will. It may not be the same as a human babysitter, but if your kids are entertained and NOT up to mischief, maybe it’s okay for them to use electronic devices while you work toward better dinners and family nights.

Divide up the digital activities with playdough sessions, snacks and lunches, and other independent play while you cook.

Have Snacks and Meals Pre-prepped.

It’s hard to stop a big cooking session to prep another meal, so it’s helpful if you have kid food at the ready. It doesn’t take long to do it before you start.

You could even pack a little sack lunch for each child. That will give them something to look forward to and save you unneccessary interruptions. Keep filling that freezer!

Cook During Naps and After Bed.

There have been many nights when moms have”burnt the midnight oil” in the kitchen. You know the kids are safe and snoozy and you can work more quickly without needing to stop for something they might need.

It’s also a great time for you and your husband to visit as well as for you to catch up on your favorite shows, podcasts, and audio books.

Hint: Spouses can cook, too. 😉

Plan Daddy’s Day Out with the Kiddos.

Get your hubby on board. Explain the benefits of a big freezer cooking day and ask that he take the kids away for the day. This will buy you the peace and quiet to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time, plus the kids get to spend some time with Dad.

toddler girl stirring batter with papa behind her

Include Them!

It’s never too early to include kids in your freezer cooking sessions. Not only will the kids have more “buy-in” with the meals you prepare, but they’ll also learn valuable kitchen skills that will give you even more nights off cooking in the future.

It can be hard to fill your freezer with kids around, but it’s not impossible. Be flexible. That’s pretty much the definition of parenting. But also know that the investment in your freezer will pay off big time in the weeks and months to come.

Do you fill the freezer when your kids are around?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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Comments

  1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship says:

    I love including my 4.5yo son in the cooking, and have since he was about 2, but my challenge now is a 16-month-old who is too grabby to be in the sling and, although she's wonderfully independent sometimes, she can't play on her own forever. It's just the age. If I'm trying a new recipe, I get a little stressed trying to talk 4yo son through it while 16mo daughter is fussing or whatever. Then I'm not a good chef OR mama! I know it's just a season in my life…so for me, the midnight cooking is the way to go! (And I'm thankful my husband is home rather early from work compared to most men!)

    Thanks for sharing this post! I hope I can join up tomorrow afternoon!
    Katie

  2. Averyswife says:

    Yeah, I definitely have to utilize naptimes, bedtimes, and TV time. My munchkins are 23 months and 8 months and they are under foot ALL THE TIME. And if I'm not paying attention to them they're getting into EVERYTHING. So when they're awake = Mama gets NOTHING done.

  3. Those are great action plans:-)

  4. Ann Marie says:

    You make me feel so relieved! I often need to use the television to distract my littles while prepping for meals! 🙂 It feels good to know I'm not alone!

    Great idea for a Day with Daddy! On several occasions Daddy has taken the littles for a morning trip to the park, then home for lunch and a long afternoon nap! It works great!

    My children are young (almost 4, 2, and 2months). SO lately I do a lot of cooking with baby in the swing and two little boys standing at the counter "helping" mama count scoops of flour, sugar, milk, pieces of bread! Whenever I'm making anything with dough – they get pretty insistent about helping!!

  5. Michelle (What's Cooking) says:

    I am happy you included cooking WITH kids in your list. It really does make a difference in how well they eat and enjoy their food – plus it is a great time to teach kids all sorts of things, from cooperation to math and science. I teach cooking classes to children and always include educational concepts, such as how our food choices affect the health of our planet. Keep up the good work!

  6. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    It's not uncommon that I spend the entire naptime for M and preschool for L at work (which conveniently coincide), either in the kitchen or doing my freelance food writing. It's amazing how much more I get accomplished with out them underfoot, and then we can have fun later.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

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