Edited By Deb Dutta
First it’s soccer practice, then it’s girl scouts, play dates, tutoring, music lessons… sometimes you’re only in the house for a few minutes before the next big thing! Take some time at the beginning of each week to prepare healthy snacks and meals for your busy children. These are some of the best ways to have food ready to go when you’re in a time crunch:
1. Use Muffin Tins
Muffin tins are not just for muffins anymore! There are so many recipes out there that use these tins to create portion controlled, easy to transport meals. Over at Parenting.com, they have come up with 5 Mini-Meals That Kids Will Love like mini chicken potpies and “crazy cool calzones”. Many of these you can make easily and freeze for future use.
2. Create a Snack Station
Section off a place in your pantry where you place pre-bagged snacks for kids to grab and for you to easily use when prepping lunch. Real Simple has the scoop on how to create grab-and-go snack stashes. You can do the same thing in your fridge by sectioning off a box where you place pre-cut fruits, cheese sticks, yogurt tubes, celery and carrot sticks in zip-lock bags for on the go crunchy snacks.
3. Turn it into a Snack-Bar
Does your child run out the door before they’ve had their breakfast? Because sitting down for 5 minutes is so very hard for many children, the best thing to do is to take their cereal or oatmeal and turn it into a portable bar. This way they don’t miss the most important meal of the day! Frozen breakfast burritos also work as a HANDY morning meal :)
4. Crudité to Go
Put 2 tablespoons of your child’s favorite hummus, dip or spread in the bottom of a mason jar, stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix) vertically into the dip, screw on the top and go! Keep extra in the fridge for extra busy days.
5. Your Freezer Is Your Friend
Any experienced mom knows that sometimes a freshly cooked meal is totally out of the question. When kids are coming home from sports or leaving for study groups, they need to be fed, and they need to be fed quickly. When you’re making dinner, make extra and freeze in small zip-lock freezer bags to create individually portioned meals that your son or daughter can heat up in minutes.
- Deboleena Dutta