Ahh, the cool Fall nights. The crisp air. The warmth of the sun a the pumpkin patch. This time of year can be the best of all, especially if you live in a climate the welcomes the Fall season with open arms. But, this time of year, when the kids go back to school, may seem like everything in your daily schedule is all of a sudden five times as hectic! Even if you recall making quick and simple meals for your family last school year, we all get a bit rusty, so it’s worth the time to refresh our minds (and recipe books) on the best techniques on getting dinner on the table in no time. If you keep running out of time in the morning to organize that evening’s meal — or, for that matter, figure out what’s on tap for breakfast and lunch — we’ve listed some ideas below to get you going.
Breakfast, To Go
Breakfast is potentially the busiest time for parents and children. You have to get the kids up, make sure that they’re washed, dressed, have their homework in order and feed them breakfast before they’re out the door! If breakfast on the go seems to be your family’s MO, there are a few fast, easy recipes to try.
Homemade muffins are good, healthy breakfast options. Kids love muffins! They should also fill your kids up until lunch time. It would be a good idea to make these in a batch the night before, or a few days before and freeze them until you’re ready to eat. For the best flavor, add lemon juice, and to keep your kids satiated, add oat bran.
Yogurt smoothies are perfect for breakfast on the go. They can be easily transported and kids can drink them on the way to school. There are literally hundreds of different flavors of smoothies available.
Fruit Salad: if your kids prefer something more savory in the morning, why not try feta cheese and a little watermelon? This healthy breakfast is refreshing and will give your kids energy.
It helps to think outside of the box when you brainstorm what different dishes you can cook up. Breakfast on the go doesn’t have to mean an apple or a granola bar; you can create quick, simple and healthy breakfast recipes any day of the week.
Tips for Saving Time
The key to making back to school recipes is to save as much time as possible.
1. Start planning ahead. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. How many times have you felt stressed out because you just don’t know what to cook? When the clock is ticking and you haven’t yet decided what to cook, it can become extremely frustrating and stressful.
Planning ahead helps you to know exactly what to cook. It also shows you what you need to buy in advance. If you know that on Wednesday you will be cooking tacos for dinner, you can get all of the ingredients in at the weekend or the night before.
2. Cook in bulk on weekends. Most families have some spare time at the weekend so it would make sense to use this time to prepare for the week ahead. You could cook a variety of meals to put in the freezer. Then, on weekday mornings, just take the meal out to defrost and all you will need to do is warm it up when you get home. This is one of the best time-saving tips that you can follow when your kids head back to school.
3. Try one pot recipes. One pot recipes will also save you time. One of the best back to school meal ideas, we think, is anything in the slow cooker. Slow cookers heat everything while you are at work or the kids are at school, making it ready for when you get back.