The first couple of weeks after school starts is always a mad rush in my house. Not only do we struggle to get into a morning routine, but we also struggle with finding an afternoon and evening routine.
Like many families, our afternoons and evenings are always packed with chores, homework, and fall sports. The best way to survive the craziness of fall is to get organized, and that includes finding ways to incorporate healthy and quick dinners.
Here are my top 5 tips for setting yourself up for success and not resorting to take out.
1 - Meal Plan
Look at the calendar and see when you have time to cook and when you need to eat leftovers or make something super quick. For me, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are my busy evenings. That means I need to make dinners on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday that will have leftovers or I need to plan quick meals on my busy nights.
Write down what meals you plan to make throughout the week including breakfast and lunch. Then pick a day to shop for the entire week.
2 - Meal Prep
Meal prepping can help relieve some of the pressure to cook every night. You could meal prep all of your dinners or just the protein and cook your sides every night.
3 - Use a slow cooker or pressure cooker
If the thought of meal prepping sounds exhausting, consider using a slow cooker. Put the ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning, set it on low, and have a hot dinner by the evening. If you double the recipe you will have enough for leftovers.
4 - Write a master list of meals
Write a master list of meals that take longer to cook and quick meals. On the master list, include the site or book of the recipes. You could also screenshot the recipe and keep it in a recipe folder on your phone.
5 - Create meal rotations
To simplify meal planning even further, at least for the first couple of weeks heading back to school, consider creating a meal rotation. Meal rotations allows everyone to know what’s for dinner. It also saves you the headache of coming up with new meal ideas every week. If eating the same thing every week doesn’t sound appetizing, then pick a general theme. For instance, pizza on Fridays. You can make a different pizza every Friday.
Try a couple of these strategies and let me know what you think. Do you have any tips for surviving back to school?