When we began homeschooling, one key element to our day that wasn’t even a blip on my radar and I totally underestimated was being the cafeteria lady. While this subgroup of humans (homeschoolers) poses a unique challenge to meal planning, this topic is relevant to any one that, well, eats food. So, I guess everyone, right?
If you homeschool, or stay at home with children it can feel like you are in a constant state of food prepping, serving and kitchen clean-up purgatory – hell. Too dramatic? Stay with me…
Ya’ll, this book has revolutionized our kitchen! Meal planning always seemed so overwhelming, daunting, and this book has delicious recipes with easy to follow directions. Have food restrictions? No problem! Like many, we have several family members with various dietary concerns (gluten-free, vegan) and I have found it easy to substitute and modify as needed. It is simple. (my love language.)
I love that she explains how to and how long you can store meals once prepped and then how to freeze and/or rewarm your meals. While she doesn’t recommend a particular storage container, the images in the book sent me on an Amazon search and I am pleased with my container choices. However, I wish she would have provided links to containers to have saved me time looking on my own.
My containers stack in the fridge, allow for reheating and you can write on the lids with a dry erase marker to help family members with special dietary concerns find “their” box.
For my family of five, I am finding it takes me about 4 hours to prep (not including grocery shopping) breakfast and lunches that last about 3-4 days. I did the meal planning and food prepping on my own for the first two weeks as I wanted to understand the process well before bringing in the rest of my family to help.
Now, my plan is to grocery shopping on Sunday morning and have all five of us in kitchen to help chop, slice, wash, prep food and start to put in containers for the first few days of the week. On Wednesdays, I will do another mini-prep to get us through Thursday and Friday with fresh produce and the opened space in our refrigerator.
Rockonliving Tip: Do you have a summer herb garden nearing the end of its season? Consider taking a little time to chop and prep them to last all year! I was so excited to use some of our Lakeshore Farms Thyme crops from last summer to create these super yummy potatoes!
Another bonus of the way the meals are prepped and stored is they are portable for the days when you need to grab and go.
The time put up front in meal planning and prepping allows our family to have an ease to the day’s flow. It is so worth the effort! What makes this momma so happy is limited time standing in the kitchen during the day pulling meals together and decreased precious time cooking during school hours with minimal clean up required.
Meal prepping is proving to be instrumental to one of my overall goals this year, and that is finding ways to streamline processes to allow for more space and time for more doodling in the margins of life & I thought I would share! Till next time…