With school back in session, recreational sports and other after-school activities are back in full swing too. As a mom, one of the biggest challenges I face is figuring out when to eat dinner and what to serve, because several nights a week, we’re going straight from school to the soccer fields for hours worth of practices that don’t end until 7:30 pm. With active, growing children, it’s not realistic to think the kids can get by on snacking all evening, but if we have any chance of getting them showered and to bed at a decent hour (OMG! When do they have time for homework?!?) eating dinner when we get home at 8 pm is not a good option. And while fast food can be super convenient, it’s definitely not the healthiest! Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, you can still provide a healthy meal even when time is short. Skip the drive-through with these tips and recipes that can help make the long nights at the field, or court, more manageable.
“We’re just so busy!” How can we find the time to cook and eat, let alone find time to eat together? Time is certainly one of the biggest obstacles to families gathering for dinner or even eating a proper meal on one’s own, but so is thinking that meals have to be cooked from scratch and labored over for hours. Quick, easy meals can be just as good as gourmet ones. With a full-time job and 2 boys in school and sports, I’ve learned a few things along the way that help to simplify dinner for the family, while also keeping me sane.
One good time-saving strategy is to cook a big batch of soup or a double batch of roasted vegetables or of a casserole over the weekend or whenever you have more time, and then freeze some to make weekday dinners quick and easy. Some meals can be thrown together quickly with help from store-bought ingredients, like pre-cut veggies, rotisserie chicken, or a pre-made pizza dough. There are also tons of recipes that take less than 15 minutes. Check out our recipes at https://bellisaris.com/pages/recipes. You’ll discover recipes that only require 3-4 ingredients and are fast and easy to whip up!
If the schedule allows us time to go home before or between after-school activities, I have mastered quick meals to eat at home or that can easily be eaten on the go. Recipes like this wrap are portable, nutritious, and delicious: https://bellisaris.com/pages/frankenstein-barista-bbq-chicken-cheddar-wrap or these Buddha Bowls (https://bellisaris.com/pages/sheet-pan-buddha-bowls) full of healthy ingredients you can make ahead and are just as yummy at room temperature or even cold for something that can easily be eaten on the go.
One of my favorite things to do is to set up a little crockpot bar in the back of the minivan or hatchback. My car even has an outlet back there to plug in and keep things warm, so you can serve a hot meal that can be eaten at the fields. Even if the meal isn’t actually cooked in the crockpot, many foods can easily be kept warm in one, like these tasty dishes which still taste wonderful as heated-up leftovers kept warm in a slow cooker: https://bellisaris.com/pages/skinny-honey-fig-chicken or
With Bellisari’s, you can prepare convenient, quick meals with gourmet flavors. Back to school can be hectic, but it doesn’t have to be hard!