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10 Tips For When You Have No Desire To Cook

Top ten tips for when you have no desire to cook, but need to feed your family!

My husband and I were having a conversation recently about how naive we were about some (aka LOTS) of things back in our college days. Like, how it seemed so easy to eat healthy and workout regularly. We thought that it was no big deal.

Here I am 10 years later with two kids and I’m like ooooooh okay. Not always so easy when your time is pretty much never your own! 

In a perfect world, I really do love to cook. But that world where I have endless free time, no kids glued to my body, and someone else to do my dishes…it’s far from reality. There are days when I am SO tired and worn out that I wish we didn’t have to eat at all because even the idea of washing one pot and wiping down my stovetop is enough to make me call my husband and tell him I’m quitting. But since quitting being mom is not really an option, (and obviously I’m not serious!) I have to find ways to make it work. 

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. So in case you find yourself with no desire to cook for your family, here are some tips to help you out!

10 Tips When You Have No Desire To Cook

  1. Reduce your workload. This week, buy pre-chopped fresh or frozen veggies and fruit. Cutting down on prep time can make it easier to get yourself in the kitchen.
  2. Rely on old favorites. It can take a lot of mental energy to search for new recipes, or follow steps. When you’re exhausted, you don’t want to re-read a recipe 15 times. Go with meals you know you like and are easy for you to make.
  3. Try a meal planning service like 5 Dinners in 1 Hour or CookSmarts. I use both of these, and LOVE how they make a shopping list for you, tell you what meals to make so you don’t have to waste time and energy deciding, and give you tips on how to prep ahead. You can try them out for free with my affiliate links! Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you what to cook, am I right??
  4. Designate “cooking days” and “off days.” I really, really hate washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. To reduce this, I typically only cook Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The other days we eat leftovers or get takeout. That’s just what works with our schedule the best. Knowing that I have some days off helps me stay motivated on the days I do need to cook.
  5. Make big batches. To go along with #4, try to double your recipe when possible to get more mileage from the meal. Either freeze extras or eat leftovers for the next day or two. Read this post for tips on making freezer meals.
  6. Give yourself a break. If you are totally burned out, plan a whole week off for yourself. How in the world is this possible?? A few ways. 1, see if someone else can take a night or two of cooking (spouse, older child, grandma, etc.). 2, use freezer meals that you prepped in advance that can be thrown in the oven. 3, do a night or 2 of takeout or pre-made meals from the grocery store. It takes some planning, but knowing you’re not going to be cooking all week is PRICELESS.
  7. Invite friends over. This may seem counterintuitive, but I often find that I’m happy to cook a meal when I know we will have friends over to enjoy it with. If it’s stressful to have people over, just ignore this suggestion!
  8. Plan a night out for yourself on a weekday. I don’t know about you, but as a mom with a toddler and a baby, it is RARE that I go out by myself on a weeknight. But whenever I do, it’s revitalizing. I always come back home feeling renewed energy to do the regular routine. Even if it’s just a solo trip to Target!
  9. Make the crockpot your friend. I will admit that I loooove crockpot liners and get freakishly happy to make a crockpot meal and then throw away the liner and not have to wash a thing. My favorite crockpot meal is this Skinnytaste recipe. It’s easy, delicious, and makes enough to last us a few nights.
  10. Commiserate with a friend. (A human friend, not a crockpot friend. (see #9)) A lot of times I feel better when I whine about something to a mom friend because I know she gets it. Having someone else who understands how you feel and will tell you, “I know, it’s tough!” can make things seem better!

I hope you find these helpful. It can be hard to break yourself out of a rut, but you can do it!! I believe in you! 🙂


What do you do when you have no desire to cook?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I only share resources with you that I absolutely love. Thank you for supporting Mama Knows Nutrition!


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Kacie Barnes holding an apple
Hi, I’m Kacie!

I’m a mom of two and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I offer e-guides and e-books (go to my Shop page), workshops, brand partnerships, and nutrition counseling. Check out my blog for nutrition and feeding tips for your little ones.


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