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There are days when many of us just don’t have the energy to cook dinner, so here are a few tips for days when you just can’t face an oven.

Double Up

On days when you do cook, always try to double up. Make a double spaghetti bolognaise, or roast double the amount of chicken; then place the food in the freezer. It’s quick to defrost in the microwave. If you know you will be home late that night, then take the food out of the freezer before you leave for work in the morning.

Have a Cook Fest

On a Sunday, get everyone involved and plan a menu for the week ahead. Spend a few hours cooking as much as you can and freezing the food so it's ready for the week ahead.

Sauces

Sauces are a wonder and can transform a truly boring dish into a wonderful feast with minimal effort. Keep a few packets of different sauces in the house, or make extra on nights when you are making anyway. Then freeze the sauces till you want to use them. Basic noodles with a sauce will keep most kids happy.

Take Turns

Everyone in the house eats, so everyone in the house can take turns cooking. So your six-year-old serves everyone milk and peanut butter sandwiches? So what? Peanut butter is actually extremely healthy for you. Let your children watch when you cook so they can get ideas. You may even be amazed at the imagination your kids appear to possess.

Make preparation a time to chat to the kids. Get them to sit on chairs and help peel potatoes while you talk with them about their days. You will be surprised how much you learn from these nightly sessions. Cans are a good option as well; just read the labels clearly to make sure they contain all the good stuff for your kids and aren’t just junk-in-a-can.