Child starting school next week...need help adjusting! — The Bump
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Child starting school next week...need help adjusting!

MY DS is turning 2 and will be starting school next week.  I am a working mom and have very little time in the morning and at night.  Can you ladies suggest anything that would help preparing lunch for the school day/snacks....and most importantly, recipes for dinner that I can just re-heat when we get home.Thanks!

Re: Child starting school next week...need help adjusting!

  • I usually fix lunch the night before so I can just throw it In the lunchbox in the morning. I also cook a big dinner on Sunday that usually lasts until Tuesday. I cook a big dinner again on Wednesday that usually lasts through Friday. Then we eat out on Saturdays.
  • Well, I've been at this for a while.  We've adjusted the routine as our kids have gotten older, but the general gist is still the same. My H and I have found a few key things keep the wheels greased.

    --No TV or other screens in the morning.
    --Part of homework is packing your backpack for the next day.  No playing until that's done.
    --We plan all meals for the week -- and I mean ALL meals, down to what's in the lunch bags and how many eggs or bowls of cereal for breakfast -- and buy the whole week's worth of groceries on Saturday.  We rarely go into a grocery store during the week.
    --I usually try to make a bigger meal that creates a leftover on Sunday (meatloaf, lasagna, chili, soup, pot pie, roast chicken, etc.)
    --On Monday we usually have some kind of salad, either caesar or garden.  It's early enough that the veggies bought on Saturday don't rot before I can use them, and it's an easy meal to prepare on the first night of the work week.
    --We eat the leftovers every Wednesday because both my kids have evening activities.
    --On Thursdays, we alternate between BLTs and cheeseburgers.  I steam a few broccoli crowns and bake my own potato wedges. Everyone likes this "fast food at home" meal, and no one gets tired of it.

    I let the kids pick meals they like and make that meal on either Sunday or Tuesday.  Some meals that are in regular rotation here are:

    --Chicken/broccoli/cheddar rice  (America's Test Kitchen Best 30 minute meals)
    --Italian wedding soup (Rachel Ray)
    --tacos or burritos
    --buffalo chicken sandwiches (Rachel Ray)
    --fish tacos (when there's a good sale on fish)
    --lo mein, fried rice, or other stir fry (also good for leftovers)
    --grilled pork chops and grilled apples
    --grilled chicken and zucchini
    --spinach quiche (can be made on weekend and reheated)
    --pizza (use boboli for crust and just buy toppings, or make pizza crust on weekend and refrigerate)
    --sweet potato soup & chicken/apple brats
    --"big kid" grilled cheese with tomato and bacon

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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  • I do a menu every Sunday for each meal, then get the groceries. I pack my husband's lunch and I eat at home (I work close to home). My son's preschool serves his lunch and snacks.

    I use the slow cooker a lot. A couple of our favorites are meatballs with marinara and french dip sandwiches. In the fall/winter, I do a lot of chili and soup. That can last a couple of days and gives us something warm and satisfying for lunch. 

    I do some prep on the weekends and need to do even more. I make the meatballs in advance and freeze them. I thaw the meat and cut peppers/onions. I need to start cooking chicken and hamburger in advance to use during the week, but haven't gotten there yet.

    Definitely pack everything the night before. Pick out clothing and be sure everything is clean and ready to go. It helps in the morning.
  • Thankfully, the boys' daycare serves their breakfast and lunch but I do the drop offs and pickups and all the cooking so I feel you there :)  I get up before them in the morning and shower and DH gets them up and dressed while I'm getting ready and we scoot out the door.  For meals, I meal plan on the weekend and cook something on Sunday that we'll eat Monday or Tuesday.  I try to also do double duty where I can so if DH is grilling chicken breasts over the weekend, I have him make extra for tacos, steak becomes steak and cheese subs.  We do a lot of easy meals - pasta with meat sauce, enchiladas (huge batch previously made and frozen so I just have to assemble), burgers, pork loin that I often make the night before, rotisserie chicken I grab on my way home, etc.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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