Back to school is looming over our heads and for some of us, that might give us chills! This time of year can be good and bad, the kids get back into a routine, all the easy and fun stuff has to happen on the weekends, but it also brings in a whole extra workload for the parents. Back to school means no more late night bike rides in the street, no more sleep-ins on weekdays, no more Tuesday movies and no more afternoon swim parties. This time of year also means lots of extra commitments after school like piano lessons, gymnastics, homework, or cub scouts —whatever the activity may be, we need to be organized!
One of the hardest things to get a handle on is food. Having healthy food prepped and thought out before Monday is the best way to start your week on the right foot. And, for some of us, it means blocking out Sunday afternoons to get it done!
The following are some tried and true methods I use to get started every week so weeknight dinners are ready in a snap and lunches are as easy as packing up leftovers.
- 1 very large casserole dish with roasted root veggies such as sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, fennel, turnips and parsnips
- Pre-cut veggies like cucumbers or peppers or carrots
- 1 large egg and bacon or egg and sausage frittata with spinach and mushrooms
- Pre-cut slices of sandwich meat, kid friendly fruits and baby carrots for lunches
- A plan for one crock pot dinner to be used for lunches as well
- 1 dozen hard boiled eggs
- 1 dozen grilled 4 ounce chicken breasts
We try to save exciting dishes and new recipes for weekends and holidays and we pretty much stick to the basics Monday through Friday (lean proteins, lots of veggies, fruits and a few treats like dark chocolate and wine are on hand as well.) And if you happen to have a fussy eater, I always have cooked chicken, strawberries and carrots on hand for those nights when our dinner is not to their liking.
On a final note, you can make the blandest most boring foods taste better with seasoning! Plain old chicken can be transformed by simply changing the seasoning. Some of the best seasoning are olive oil, salt and pepper (pork tenderloin) and then there is special seasoning blends you can purchase from spice experts such as Penzey’s spices that can really change the way you feel about food!