Back to school eating tips for parents, an article by Ivonne Ganss
It’s been 5 days since the carefree days of summer came to an end. Oh, how I miss letting the kids sleep in followed by a trip to the beach!
Instead those days have been replaced with:
- three alarms going off (for safe measure),
- breakfast by 6:20am,
- lunches packed by 6:40am,
- carpooling and out the door by 7:30am,
- work at 8am,
- pick up kids by 3:30pm,
- soccer at 4pm,
- then home by 7:30pm.
Between transportation to and from soccer, the practice itself, fitting in homework and baths and everything else, I can see how dinner on those nights is daunting. That drive-thru is just sooooo very easy to go to, isn’t it?
Getting home at 7:30pm with hungry kids is the worst time to think about the age old question, “I’m
hungry, what’s for dinner?”
By the time you hear that question, let’s face it, you are doomed. Doomed because — if you’re like most families — no one can decide and you end up just ordering a pizza. I know I’m preaching to the choir; it’s exhausting and daunting.
Instead, this year I’m determined to try to make more meals at home, without having the discussions, albeit arguments, about what’s for dinner or everyone needing something different to be made (yep, that’s been our house before).
Our dinners go a lot smoother when the kids have a vote in what’s for dinner. I’ve declared Sunday to be my day of prep for the following week with the planning starting on Saturday night. In fact, I was so determined to have a better year that I even manifested the Pinterest side of me to find inspiration!
Back to school eating tips for parents: Easy Peasy Dinner prep…
The hardest thing for most parents is dinner prep. Here’s how I’ve simplified that process (for my own sanity) and how you can too:
For starters, make a list of everything your family likes to eat for dinner, then make an index card for each dinner. Put the name of the dinner on the front of the index card like this:
On the other side of the index card, list all the ingredients needed to make that dinner:
On Saturday night I place all the index cards on the table and ask the family to pick 5 cards. Then I take
the five cards and make my grocery list from the ingredients I’ve written on the back side. Most of the veggies I have from my FarmBox (thank you Daily Harvest Express), however I’ll make a trip to the grocery store for everything else on Sunday morning.
Dinners don’t have to be fancy and I seldom hit all the food groups. I just do the best I can, and I know I put enough veggies in the fruit smoothies, lunches, and snacks for my youngsters to get enough fruits and veggies.
There is something satisfying in knowing your week is a bit more organized. Sunday mornings are my favorite. I take my grocery list and cup of coffee and off to the store I go. Sometimes I get home and the family is still asleep. I wash and cut up everything needed to make smoothies for the week. Place everything in individual bags and freeze.
I also fill a drawer with healthy snacks that the kids can reach into during the week. I then wash, cut, and organize my fridge with all the veggies I’ll need during the week. We tend to eat a lot of raw veggies at lunch and I always have a plate of veggies on the counter while homework is getting done and dinner is being made since they get home starving.
I know what you’re thinking….there are 7 days in the week. Well, I’m a believer in self-care so we normally go out to eat one night and the other night is leftover night so I can clean out the fridge. Viola, I get two days off!
This approach has allowed me to keep my drill sergeant tactics to getting their homework done. Hopefully, you’ll find them helpful too!
Wishing you a year of dinner success, from one mom to another!
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