It’s hard to believe school will be starting up for many of us this month and we’re soon back to packing lunches daily again. Cooler temperatures and shorter days are on their way. It’s time to make the most of each moment and each meal. Here are some of the things that work for our family!
- Meal plan — I do all of my meal planning on Sundays. I have a google doc I keep with all the recipes that my family loves. I simply create a table for the week and link to the recipes directly. It’s always easy to pack leftovers for lunch, so I make sure we cook double servings of main entrees early in the week, e.g. soup, pasta, etc. That way the kids always start the week with something warm and delicious to get them through the hump of returning to school after a fun weekend, and it reduces time spent in the kitchen. I do love my kitchen, but let’s face it. As busy moms, we have lots of other things to do and places to be.
- Prepare your fruits in advance — one of the things I do religiously is shop at our local farmers market and stock our fridge with fruits that I cut & wash in advance. I find my family is more likely to reach for fruits when it’s cut up and ready to be eaten. So I keep bowls of washed + de-stemmed strawberries, grapes, and watermelon in the fridge at all times. Also in the morning it makes it easy to grab a couple of fruit options from the fridge rather than having to cut/wash everything while you’re trying to run out the door. Most berries freeze well, so I like to keep some on hand. Packed in a lunchbox, they double as an ice pack with no waste.
- Prepare snacks for the week — homemade power bars and trail mix are great refuelers for a long day of school and other activities. Nut butter and, raw oats, and honey make up the base of our power bars. Combined with a couple of my boys favorite add ons, they’re a healthy snack with no artificial ingredients. I like to mix dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes even some yogurt covered raisins and put them in small containers for trail mix. It makes an easy, no mess snack for little hands and doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Another handy snack that can stay at room temperature is air-popped popcorn. I put this timeless classic is small individual bags. Keeping a variety of healthy snacks on hand ensures my boys are almost always making good food choices.
- Stock your freezer with emergency lunch supplies — if I’m making soup I always pack a few in mason jars and freeze them on days when there’s nothing to pack. Same thing with bolognese sauce. There will come one morning when you’re fridge is empty and you have nothing to pack – it’s always to know there’s backup options in your freezer! It can save you a trip to the store and sometimes, even your sanity.
As our thoughts move from summer memories to school supplies, permission slips, and piano lessons, we can still work smarter, not harder when it comes to preparing meals and snacks. Planning ahead and preparing much of the week’s food on Sunday leaves more hours during the week to do what we moms do..which is pretty much everything!
Be sure to visit Omielife for more great ieeas.
Recommended for you: