Posts Tagged ‘Meal Prepping’

Back-to-School Meal Prep Ideas

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Back to School Meal Prep Ideas from MomAdvice.com

It’s time to bring on those meal prep ideas for packing lunches for back-to-school. I’m sharing 7 tips to nail your meal prep game for your kids and YOU. I’m excited to be partnering again with the Florida Department of Citrus for the back-to-school season and showing you some fun new strategies for lunch preparation.

It seems surreal to me that we are already talking about back-to-school, but we are just one week away from sending our kids off to school again. It is with this big occasion in mind that I look forward to getting back into our healthy eating routines and finding new ways to minimize stress during our busy weeks.

One of the ways I do that is through our meal prep routines.

back-to-school lunch meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

Let’s talk about 5 really great strategies for meal prepping that can help you this year.

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

 

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com

Find New Ways to Use Up What’s Already in Your Fridge

Meal planning can save you tons of money at the grocery store, but I have the tendency to get excited about new meals without using up what we already have in our fridge.

Make a plan, but acknowledge ways that you can use up items that may be nearing their expiration date. I love frittatas, for example, because they can be whipped up from whatever you have lurking in your crisper drawer and from your weeknight meal leftovers. Today’s frittata, for example, was made from cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and feta…all items leftover our salad nights this week. Ask your kids to help you come up with combos and give them the opportunity to brunch it up at school.

If you are looking for a great recipe, check out my Chicken Pesto Frittata or my Dairy-Free Sausage & Vegetable Frittata for two great options. Either of these can omit the meat for a fun vegetarian option too.

I paired this frittata with orange juice to round out the meal. Keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of Florida OJ is eight ounces for adults and four to six ounces for kids! The best part is that every glass of Florida Orange Juice provides the amazing 5. In fact, you have taste, vitamin C, folate, potassium and no added sugar in just one glass.

back-to-school meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

back-to-school lunch prep ideas from momadvice.com Consider the Snack Pack Trend

We caught a commercial for, “protein packs,” that you could purchase for your lunches that had meat, cheese, and nuts in them.  Even though my husband can’t cook, even he was laughing at how ridiculous it was that people couldn’t put these together themselves.

Snacks packs aren’t a new concept, but they ARE a perfect concept if you have a kid that is a snacker or if you happen to be a snacker yourself.

Utilizing toothpicks, stack a slice of lunch meat, a grape tomato, and a cube of cheese for a delicious bite that is easy enough that your kids can do it (and make their own dang lunch!)

I paired these with fresh veggies, a little ranch, and roasted salted almonds.

Want to add some fruit? Consider an apple! Using an apple slicer like this, slice the apples and then pull them back together in their original shape around the core with a rubber band.

Did you know that for additional insurance you can brush the apple with some orange juice to really help your apple retain its crisp appearance and cut down on browning? Now that’s a #lunchhack

prep peanut butter & jelly

Kids Keeping it Basic? Prep That Too!

I had one child who refused to eat anything except a good old-fashioned PB&J. I admired that she knew what she liked and that she kept it simple for her mom. That said, even those simple tasks rob us of precious time to get ready in the morning so I started meal prepping even these simple sandwiches.

If your child’s favorite is this sandwich too, simply spread peanut butter on both slices of bread to create a wall to prevent the jelly from making your bread soggy. Smear your jelly on in the center of one slice of bread and then put the two slices together. By creating an assembly line of sandwiches for your week you only dirty up the kitchen once and get back a little more time to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.

back to school meal prep ideas from momadvice.com

 

orange chicken meatballs recipe from momadvice.com

Plan Around Your Own Guilty Pleasures

Have you thought about packing yourself a lunch? I have the tendency to get out of the habit of caring for myself when the back-to-school rush happens and find myself grabbing takeout or “forgetting to eat,” when I don’t have something convenient to grab.

Jot down what your takeout weaknesses are and start searching Pinterest for some great alternatives for your meal prep day.

For me, Chinese is my weakness so these Make-Ahead Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs were just the ticket for my meal prep day. The sauce, of course, gets all of its orange goodness from a little Florida OJ!

Don’t Have Time To Make Separate Lunches? Double Up on Those Dinners!

Life gets chaotic this time of year so if you can’t devote a day to making lunches, consider doubling up on dinner ideas instead. For some great cold options, here are a few of my own recommendations!

Quinoa-Salad-In-A-Jar-7 quinoa salad in a jar with spinach & tomatoes

chicken caesar pasta salad chicken caesar pasta salad

Berry Pecan Salad

berry & candied pecan salad with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette (make with or without chicken)

Caprese Pasta Salad #recipe via MomAdvice.com caprese pasta salad

Roast Frozen Chicken in Bulk roasted chicken (perfect for salads & wraps)

Don’t forget those sides!

make-ahead hard boiled eggs make-ahead baked hard boiled eggs

Smoothie Bowl Recipe smoothie bowl recipes

roasted garlic hummus roasted garlic hummus

No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars no-bake gluten-free granola bars

  trail mix energy bites trail mix energy bites

I hope that today’s ideas inspire you to try something new this year with your meal prep. Self-care is just as important so be sure to take some time out for YOU too with a few of my favorite self-care tips. Thank you to the Florida Department of Citrus for letting me share about these tips with you! Be sure to make Florida OJ a part of your daily routines to help boost your immune system during this challenging mom season.

This blog was sponsored by Florida Department of Citrus. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

 

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The MomAdvice Make Ahead

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The MomAdvice Make Ahead

Wow, I can’t believe our family’s Choose Your Own Adventure trip has finally been fulfilled! It was such an incredible vacation (equal parts busy and equal parts R&R)  that I’m looking forward to sharing more about it with you this week! In the meantime, I have been knee deep in laundry, grocery shopping to replenish the very empty fridge, and I have been doing some food prep this week to try to get ahead.

I hope to try and doing a little making ahead each week since our family life has gotten quite busy between dance lessons, cross country meets/practice, and instrument lessons.  I shared this photo on Instagram and had a few people ask me how I made certain things for the week so I thought maybe sharing it here so you could not only hold me accountable (something I can always use), but I hope it might inspire you to get a little ahead during your busy weeks!  I must say that Shutterbean has been such an inspiration to me in this department-have you read this post on make-ahead planning? I also love to follow along with her hashtag to think of new ideas that I can do ahead in my kitchen!

The biggest thing for me is my desire to decrease the amount of food waste we have in our house. If things are pulled together, frozen, and incorporated into our dishes, there is less chance of those items going to waste in our home.

For me, it’s also less about menu-planning and more about thoughtful preparations that can be pulled together for the week ahead whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For menu-planning advice, I’m An Organizing Junkie is a pioneer for Menu Planning Mondays where you can gather so much good stuff each week and you can start brainstorming what you can make ahead for your meals each week.

Here is what I got ready for our crazy activities week!

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup (Prepared minus the noodles- I like to make them fresh so they maintain their consistency)

Spaghetti Sauce (double batched)

Chopped Broccoli (to be made into this easy Microwave Lemon Broccoli for a side)

Roasted Green Beans (prepped and thrown in a bag for the week)

3 pounds Roasted Chicken, sliced (for wraps & salads this week)

1 dozen Hard-Boiled Eggs (I used this oven baking method with really good success. I also kept the shells on the eggs for storage because they keep for one week like this and it keeps bacteria away!)

Chopped Carrots & Celery (I just chopped these up while chopping up the celery and carrots for my soup)

Pot Roast Italiano (prepped and thrown in a bag for the week)

Green Smoothie Packets (I use this recipe and froze the strawberries, bananas, and spinach in packets for the morning)

For a couple of hours of cooking and prepping, I’m hoping we can stay on track with our family’s eating this week!

Let me know if this helps you and if you would like me to continue sharing these ideas with you! xo

 

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