If summertime is easy breezy, carefree and relaxed, the school year can feel like a rude awakening when schedules, school pickup or bus drop-off, lunchbox packing and after school activities can make you like an unpaid chauffeur, personal assistant and short order cook all in one. Phew. I'm exhausted even thinking about it.
But here's the thing, mama. The school week doesn't have to feel as stressful as it may seem. With simple routines, you can create simplicity and ease for your family in what otherwise feels a little like chaos. Meals are one area our family has down, after years of practice, and working with moms, I've developed some best practices that make getting food on the table throughout the week to energize you and your family that much simpler.
Here are five of my best tips for simplifying your school week meals:
1. Start with breakfast.
Breakfast starts our day, so, nutritionally, most of us see the value in a balanced breakfast. But what about the value in prepping breakfast ahead of time-- or at least having a plan? I recommend planning and having ingredients on hand (or prepping) two easy breakfast options, with a go-to option to avoid food fights if your kids (or yourself!) aren't quite feeling it.
2. Have a plan for lunches.
Lunchbox packing can be the bain of our existence as mamas, no?! Maybe it's just me. But in three years of packing lunches for my little one, I've realized all it takes is a plan- and having the ingredients on hand- to make lunchbox packing simple and stress-free.
Click below to download my free printable lunch box planner to simplify your school lunch box planning.
For all of the details on how to create healthy lunches- for yourself and your kiddos, head over to The Supermama Society, where we're talking all about how to create healthier, energizing lunches-- with two brand new e-books, two videos (one for kiddos, one for mamas) and printable guides for simplifying lunch box packing. Get all of it for only $14.99. Registration closes on the 15th!
3. Pack lunches at night.
If you're not doing this yet- THIS is the one tip I want you to start with, mama! GAME CHANGER. I KNOW you want to relax in front of the TV or sip a glass of wine with your hubby. I get it. But packing lunches only takes 5-10 minutes, but will save you a TON of time with littles who also need your help to get ready for the day, in the morning. Trust me on this one!
4. Choose five mix-and-match meals.
Let's chat dinner. Dinner planning doesn't need to be complicated, so here is where I recommend starting. Choose five meals that are easy enough to mix-and-match so when something comes up, and you can't make that exact meal that night, you can choose another one, instead. No time for lasagna on Monday? Save it for Wednesday and have sausage and peppers on Monday, instead. Flexibility helps you stay intuitive, with the meals you actually want to eat- and make healthy food happen, even if it's not exactly what you planned for that night.
5. Create a family favorites list.
How do you choose five meals per week to mix and match? Create a list of your family's favorite meals! There is no need to choose new Pinterest-worthy recipes each and every week if your family loves the tried and true. When you have a list of those meals you KNOW your family loves, meal planning becomes that much easier.
Want to learn more about planning mix-and-match meals and creating a family favorites list? Better yet, do you want to know all of my best tips for simplifying meal planning to make healthy happen? You're in luck, mama friend. On Friday, September 13th at 2pm EST I'm hosting a FREE Make Healthy Happen Webinar. Learn to meal plan easily so you can make healthy happen, every day of the week.
All you need to do is click the link below, enter your name and email and you'll be notified with all the details.
Can't make it live? Enter your email to catch the replay.