backtoschoolCan you believe it? It’s back to school time already. As you’re busy getting school supplies and clothes, it’s easy to forget about the meals. Below are a few tips help you through all three meals during this busy time.

Birthday Cake Pancakes
Plan ahead
Cut up fruit and veggies ahead of time and store in bags or containers. Keep apples from turning brown by soaking in lemon juice.

Make wraps ahead of time. The Turkey and Spicy Mayo Wraps we recently did on Great Groceries stay together better when made ahead. Use your favorite meats and cheeses for variations. Cut them into pinwheels for a nice change from the usual sandwich.

Get a Bento box or divided containers that can help you portion and not leave your child with multiple containers to bring home.

Buy products that are already portioned – products like peanut butter, ranch dressing and apples and dip come portioned out so you don’t have to measure them out and don’t have to wash the containers either.

Breakfast is usually the most hectic time. Make breakfast ahead of time so you can just grab it from the freezer and heat. Try Breakfast Sandwiches or Birthday Cake Pancakes that can be stored for 2 months in the freezer.

UnknownCreative lunches

Add a little note on a piece of paper or write in the peel of a banana with a toothpick. When they open their lunch box, they’ll see a nice little note.

Buy a fun sandwich slicer that makes fun shapes.

Switch it up, to warm meals. Once those temperatures start cooling, a hot thermos with soup, mac & cheese or hot dogs is a welcome surprise.

Stray from the sandwich – meat and cheese on toothpicks, pasta salad, wraps or a banana “hot dog” (a banana on a hot dog bun with peanut butter and jelly as the “condiments”) will break the monotony of sandwiches every day.

photo 2-1Easy dinners
One of the more recent meal trends is freezer meals. You can do all of you prep ahead of time, freeze the meal (or even make two, cook one right away and freeze the other), thaw, cook and eat. Meals like stuffed shells, sesame chicken or fajitas can save a lot of time and money.

Utilize your slow cooker. There’s so much you can do in a slow cooker. It’s not just for roasts and pulled pork. You can make chili, macaroni and cheese, soups, oatmeal and even lasagna. You can get everything ready in the morning, and have a warm, delicious meal when you get home.

Don’t count out the casserole. Casseroles have come a long way since chicken with broccoli and rice. There are many variations that you can dump a few ingredients in and bake. Most of all, they are usually comforting, especially during the fall when the weather starts to get chilly.