Your kids just got out of school and it is already time for Back To School. It’s hard to get started, so I have created this series Quick Start Back to School to get everyone going! The next post is about Back To School healthy meals and snacks.
Back to school is the time when healthy meals and snacks for our family are most important. We want everyone to feel energized and focused as they get back into the school groove. There are lots of glitches in getting healthy meals on the table, but streamlining and simplifying make dinner time easier.
Snack, dinner, and lunch ideas
Often we get stuck at the first step – that being what to make! We feel overwhelmed by choices, by complicated recipes, too many different tastes in our family and by a lack of prep time.
- Poll your family first. They know what they like. No need to reinvent the wheel. Simplifying with consistency.
- Use lists. It’s easier than pulling ideas from your head. Post the list where you and your family can see it. The list can be a weekly, Monday – Friday list of dinner ideas. It can also be a list with days of the week assigned to a category, like Monday is breakfast for dinner, and Tuesday is Italian night. It can also be a list of what’s already in your freezer, such as proteins and veggies.
- Allow for options for picky eaters. If one child only eats hot dogs, keep a quantity on hand.
- Gather ideas by looking online at pinterest. It’s a fun way to try easy new recipes with lots of basic instructions.
We never seem to have enough time. Planning in prep time and grocery shopping make it easier. Having a day of the week that is grocery day helps you save time and energy all week, rather than running out at the last minute for milk or eating out. Even if you shop twice a week, you are planning better!
- Include kids in prepping food. It’s more fun with everyone in the kitchen together. If your kids are younger, ask them to set the table or empty the silverware in the dishwasher. All kids love to help when food is around.
- Prep lunches the night before to avoid the morning scramble. It’s easy with lunch boxes ready to go. Have your kids help with this too.
- Work in bulk. When prepping for lunch, double up your recipe and bag it up. Set aside one shelf in your refrigerator for lunches.
Reap the rewards
Over and over I see the value of family dinner. If your schedule does not permit it nightly, plan on one night a week. Your family fun quotient will go sky high!
Not sure what to make for dinner? Ideas for dinner on my Dinner’s Ready pinterest board.
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