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Top 5: Cooking Tips for the Exhausted

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How are new moms (and those who feel oh-so-old) expected to balance raising and feeding a family? What to do when friends and family stop dropping off those meals.


When you're on the last forkful of your mom's meatloaf, follow these secrets from celeb chef and mom Susannah Locketti to make cooking more than a fantasy.

Delegate to Daddy: If he can make a baby, he can peel a potato. Have your man do the prep work so that you are left to go in the kitchen and make it all happen. Choose your menu during baby's afternoon nap. Then have hubby grab the ingredients and do all the chopping or boiling for you. Don't forget to ask him to preheat the oven and/or defrost the meat. It's these small steps that take the most time in the kitchen. You could even alternate poop and prep duties to keep it fair.

Frozen veggies rule: Frozen veggies have the same nutrients as fresh-- and frozen comes chopped! How much better does it get? When boiling pasta, throw in a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots during the last three minutes of boiling. This adds nutrients and the time saved can go toward bathing baby.

Crocks rock: Remember that dusty crock pot you got as a wedding gift? This blast from the past makes cooking a cinch. Just plug it in and add meat, liquid and veggies. Do this in the early afternoon and dinner is ready before 6 p.m. Crock pots are also perfect for chili. Here's a chili secret... throw in a jar of your favorite salsa for fast flavor and thickness.

Freezing is freeing: Life with a newborn means you never know when your next meal will be. Food often goes to waste in the fridge during the first six weeks because you have zero time. Freeze leftovers in individual serving size containers and scribble the meal and date with a sharpie. Nothing beats opening the freezer to find a variety of these containers when baby is finally asleep and you get a breather.

Give yourself a break: Grab yourself some takeout when things get too hectic. Keep it as healthy as you can and pick a place that delivers. Veggie pizzas, Greek salads, and turkey wraps make great choices. And if anyone asks you along the way if there is anything they can do for you, don't be shy about mentioning a meal. Friends and family will be happy to provide you with something so useful.

next: Healthy Eating on a Budget
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