(Family Features) - Avoid the last-minute dinner crunch by keeping your pantry and freezer stocked with the makings of easy and delicious meals.
This time of year many moms find themselves wondering, "Why does back-to-school time translate into back-to-the-kitchen time?"
This fall, as always, busy families are even busier, with Mom serving up superfast before-school breakfasts, doing assembly- line lunch packing late at night and rushing to prep a healthy dinner between the end of the school day and the evening's activities.
However, multiple solutions to the daily dinner dilemma lie right inside your cupboard door. By keeping a variety of convenience items on hand, you can head off the suppertime crunch.
"Stock your pantry with essentials like dried pastas and rice, canned beans and a good selection of non-perishable condiments and simple seasonings, such as spices and bouillon cubes," suggests Jeff Wagers, Heinz Corporate Chef.
These pantry staples - and a freezer stocked with frozen meats, such as chicken breasts, ground beef or pork chops - result in quick, easy, last-minute meals, says Wagers.
"You don't need to plan a week's worth of meals or head to the grocery store several times a week if you have a well-stocked pantry and freezer," he notes. "The great thing about having key ingredients on hand is that you can transform something like instant rice, bouillon cubes and chicken into a fast and delicious family meal."