Back-to-school season is tough.
Adjusting to the new schedule. And taking care of homework. And volunteering in the classroom. And getting everyone off of the bus and fed and changed and driven to every single everywhere along with the two friends you give rides to is hard.
Plus food. They are active and athletic and quite possibly the hungriest humans on the face of the planet.
I feel like I need a personal assistant to manage it all. And a chuaffer. And a maid. And a chef. Ooooh, and a stylist would be amazing. But, just for me, not them. They don’t need that.
Anyway since I didn’t marry a sugar daddy like I’d planned, none of those lovely people are in my budget and I’m in charge of all of the scheduling, driving, cleaning cooking, and looking flyness on my own.
My house is a mess, we miss appointments from time to time, and we’ve been late to more practices than I can count (listen, I’m one person who has to get three people to three different places at exactly the same time; someone has to be late).
Fortunately, I’ve discovered a few quick, easy, real-mom doable tricks for getting good food into their always hungry bellies. Oh, and I look good doing it!
Simplify Your Mom Game: Keeping Kids Active & Healthy When Schedules Get Busy
1. Do Your Prep Work. My biggest lifesaver when it comes to fueling my Dudes is preparation. We only shop twice a month so I have to be intentional about what I buy. I meal plan and snack plan so that I have exactly what I need to prepare them re-energizing, healthy snacks after school snacks. Then, once everything to create is in my kitchen, I get to work. I prep their lunches the night before and I usually work on creating their after school meal about an hour before they are scheduled to be home. That way I have something healthy ready when they arrive and they aren’t clamoring about in my kitchen with the fridge wide open, grabbing for sugary bad things to hold them over.
2. Adjust the meal time. There’s no law that says you absolutely have to eat dinner at 6:30pm. At our house everyone is on a field of some sort of that time and sitting down to a meal is just not going to happen. We used to eat a small snack before practice and then had dinner after. Eventually we realized that doing that was causing us to drag our starving Dudes through fast food joints and extending our bedtime because, in addition to dinner, we also had to tackle showers and homework after practice. We decided eating their main meal right when they got off of the school bus was more feasible. This way I can ensure they have something healthy and, while we aren’t often able to enjoy this meal as a family (DudeDad isn’t home until close to 8pm), we can now use the after practice time to catch up with each other.
3. Be creative. There are still times when an on-the-go snack is necessary. Eating at 4:30pm means that following practice Dudes are hungry and in need of something to replenish the energy they exhausted on the field. Instead of waiting until we get home or grabbing something on the way, I’ve started packing mini coolers to take in the car. I fill them with things like cheese and meat and fruit and chocolate milk (we love the Horizon Organic single serve chocolate milks) to eat on the way home.
4. Take advantage of every meal time. Don’t miss the opportunity to fill your kids up with nutrition. Every meal should include nutritional items that will boost their energy, help them focus, and meet their daily caloric and vitamin needs. Doesn’t mean you can’t have ice cream for dinner every now and then (duh, you know I’m down for that), just that you shouldn’t let opportunities to provide them with healthy options pass you by!
5. Make ‘em a milkshake. Or a smoothie if you think that sounds healthier. Either way we’ve found that blending it up and tossing it around with some milk and ice cream (or frozen yogurt usually) is a great way to get your kids to down some fruit and dairy on the sly. We drink smoothies nearly every day and they are easy to put in a portable drink container for downing on the run.
This conversation is sponsored by Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.