10 Must-haves for the busy mom's kitchen
These 10 kitchen must-haves will satisfy those after-school hunger pangs, eliminate the drudgery of being a short-order cook, streamline her kitchen duties and even make them a bit more fun.
1. Keep a well-stocked pantry
According to Colleen Mullaney, lifestyle expert and author of It's 5 O'clock Somewhere, moms should keep a back-up of everything in their pantry to eliminate unnecessary grocery runs. They should keep their pantry organized with individually wrapped snacks like granola bars and bags of pretzels in clear air tight containers for easy visibility and reachability so kids always knows where to find a snack on the go.
2. Mount a wall organizational chart or calendar
According to Jessica Denay cofounder of the Hot Moms Club, the kitchen is the perfect place to hang a wall organizer or calendar to keep your family informed, organized and reminded of upcoming birthdays, soccer practice, ballet and dentist appointments.
3. Keep a stash of comfort food
A secret stash of treats like Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate, just for moms, offers a much-needed indulgence, says Ms. Denay. This stash can get any mom through the most stressful of dinner parties with the in-laws or put a smile on her face when making six dozen cookies for a last-minute bake sale.
4. Install a faucet filter
Busy moms don't have time to get run down or feel sluggish and the best way they can avoid dehydration is to install a water filtration faucet mount or get a pitcher so that they'll always have a glass of purified water on hand without even thinking about it, advises Ms. Denay. Installing a water filtration system like PUR is not only healthier and better for the environment but can save you money too!
5. Create self serve areas in the kitchen
Designate a bottom pull-out drawer that is full of sippy cups and plastic cups so kids can grab and fill with water on their own. This will also help to keep your workspace clutter-free.
6. Keep bowls of fresh fruit handy
Invest in some oranges, says Denay, who notes that they're both a refreshing snack and cheerful to look at, and offer a bonus cleaning element: sticking the peels in your garbage disposal will keep the sink smelling fruity and fresh.
7. Always wear an apron
Aprons are a quick and easy lifesaver, says Ms. Denay. They not only protect moms from sizzling splashes, but also serves as a hand wipe in a crunch and a tool belt for storing kitchen utensils.
8. Buy a crockpot
Every busy mom needs a good crockpot to simplify cooking. Just turn it on, throw the ingredients in and go play with your kids for a few hours until it's ready.
9. Get a few chip clips
Nothing is worse than pulling out that box of cereal to find out that it's stale or having your child quickly grab a bag of chips that scatter all over the floor, says Michele Horne of A Yummy Mummy. Chip clips provide an inexpensive way to keep food fresh and the kitchen free of spills.
10. Keep a binder of all of your favorite take-out menus
Scott Roewer, president of Solutions by Scott LLC, says keeping a menu binder will serve as a good resource for moms who don't have time to cook. Roewer also suggests that moms mark the menus with their kid's favorite dishes which will make the binder a no-brainer for their babysitter who may great with kids, but who doesn't cook.