With two school-aged boys and a very busy toddler, planning ahead is key to staying sane during the busy week. As much as I’d love to kick back and do nothing all weekend long, the weekend prep work is key to having a smooth week.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Ready for a Healthy School Week
- The first thing I do is plan my menu. The boys are at the age where I get them involved in the planning process. If I’m making something that one or both of the boys won’t eat, I make sure to have something quick and easy on hand for them. They are learning to cook, so most of the time all I need to do for this is a plan. For breakfasts and lunches, I typically serve the same thing several times.
- From my menu, I then prepare a grocery list. If at all possible, I try to hit the grocery store without Skye. She is fine for a short run but doesn’t have the patience for a longer trip. Invariably, if I have her with me, I’ll miss something and end up needing to go back.
- When I get home, I wash the produce and chop anything that is going to last. I like glass jars for storage for things like onions that are going to make the fridge smell if they are chopped and put in baggies. I will also put fruit in it them for quick afternoon snacks.Celery does great for a few days if you store it in foil.
- While I’m chopping, I’ll make something in my slow cooker for Sunday night dinner.
- I bulk cook quinoa, wild rice, black beans and chickpeas. These are great for quick lunch bowls for the grown ups. I can just toss with the chopped veggies, add dressing or even just a little vinegar and I’m good to go. All of these freeze well. Since they don’t stay fresh as long as rice and quinoa, I will typically freeze the beans in 1 1/2 cup servings. (FYI, this is the same amount as a can which makes them easy to thaw and use in recipes.)
- Depending on my menu, I’ll portion the meat and chop where it applies.
- I’ll use my second slow cooker to cook chicken that we can have for salads, stir-fries or pasta dishes.
- I’ll use my food processor to grate cheese.
- I’ll make a salad dressing, and sometimes a sauce for veggie bowls.
- I make hummus for healthy snacks. (To be paired with the chopped veggies.) It is also great on wraps.
- I organize a station in the pantry where the boys can grab snacks. I also make sure the fruit bowl is out and filled.
- If all this doesn’t have me completely worn out, I’ll make healthy muffins or cookies and freeze them.
As hard as parents have in preparing for school, the schools themselves have so much on them these days. One program I love that supports schools is the Box Tops for Education Program. My Mom spent her entire career in the school system, and she always talked about what a difference the program made.
Did you know that Hefty is the only trash bag that supports Box Tops for Education?
You have to take a minute to check out this hilarious video from Hefty that reminds us of all the things school never said!
If you want to help your school out by participating in the Box Top program, each Box Top coupon is worth 10 cents and every school can earn up to $20,000 a year by clipping Box Tops. These funds can be used for anything that the school needs – from computers to books to art supplies.
What does your school need?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.