An infant can turn the normal schedule of new parents upside down. A full nights sleep is a thing of the past. For a time, everything must revolve around the baby.
It is essential that parents stay strong, energetic and engaged. It may have been that dinner time was leisurely together time. Now dinner time is a quick fuel up and get going again. What can parents do to keep it simple and manageable?
Purchase fruit and vegetable trays
A quick meal or snack can be put together without a lot of chopping, peeling and preparation. These come ready to eat or cook. A quick salad can be put together. Fresh vegetables can be tossed in a steamer with extra preparation time. It is a great time saver.
Lettuce that is ready to be rinsed and put in a salad or used on a sandwich is an excellent tool to speed things up. Or buy head or leaf lettuce and prepare and bag it yourself for later use.
Get out the crock pot
While a crock pot meal may take a long time to cook, it is ready when the family is ready for dinner. It is a great way to add meat into a meal in a quick fashion. Roasts, barbecue meats, stews, and soups can all simmer all day long and be enjoyed for the evening meal.
Use menus that can be recreated
Bake a ham and have a traditional ham dinner. Slice some ham for sandwiches for another meal (recreate). Use the ham bone as a base and make ham and beans (recreate). Dice some of the ham to be used in an evening omelet (recreate).
Soup, salad and sandwich
This may sound very mundane in the beginning, but there is a whole lot of variety with this menu. The different kinds of soup available are endless. Even if one goes with canned soup, you could go two months and never have the same soup.
Sandwiches can be changed with something as simple as a tarragon mayonnaise. Perhaps they can be done as a wrap instead of a standard sandwich. Change the bread options on the sandwich. Have an open faced hot turkey sandwich from a recreated menu.
Try and help set the schedule so the infant is napping and parents can “build” dinner and eat together. Those together moments are still very important and working together fosters a teamwork environment that helps make any marriage stronger.