October 7, 2013 by Marci
This season in our life calls for creative scheduling and planning. We are in the midst of JFL football here at our house. Practice is 3-4 nights a week right at dinner time. By time we get home, it is after 7pm and everyone is hungry. I better have dinner ready. My regular meal planning has taken a specialized twist. It is now Football Season Meal Planning.
I have employed several tactics to make sure healthy meals get on the table every night after football practice. These will work for any busy season in life.
1. Use the crock pot. I have been on the lookout for healthy crock pot recipes that taste good. Just throw the ingredients in the pot in the morning or early afternoon and it will be ready when you hit the door. Chili, tuscan soup, orange chicken and crock pot chicken tacos are always a hit in our house. Tip: If you need rice or pasta for your crock pot meal, make it ahead and just warm it up in the microwave.
2. Make ahead meals. Make taco meat, sloppy joes, casseroles, lasagna…anything that can be quickly reheated and thrown together with a few sides.
3. Sandwiches. There’s nothing quicker than sandwiches. To be sure to satisfy those athlete appetites, have several kinds of meats and cheeses available. Whole wheat rolls or buns are a great bread option. Have a platter of toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, sweet peppers and onions on the table. For sides, try sweet potato chips, fresh veggies or slaw.
4. Left Overs. I always plan a left over day. We have what we call the “left over buffet” one night a week. We just clean out the fridge and put all that was left from the rest of the meals that week on the kitchen island. Everyone just chooses what they want and warms it up. This is great when we don’t have time to meal prep and it helps us to not waste food.
Here’s what our football season menu looks like this week:
Tuscan soup, french bread, cheese
Pasta con broccoli, salad
Broccoli Cheese Soup, sandwiches
Crock Pot Orange Chicken, rice, fresh peppers and carrots
What are your favorite busy day meals? Are your kids in sports? How do you keep them fed?
Want more meal planning inspiration? Visit Meal Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.