August 26, 2016

A Balancing Act: School Schedules and Nutritious Meals

By Margaret Gall

Pasta - whole wheatAh, the crisp cool air of Autumn brings a new season and a new routine at our home! Gone are the lazy summer days where an extra hour of staying up late or sleeping in did not matter too much with our flexible summer routine. But that routine abruptly changes with the start of school and with it, juggling the demand of school schedules, extra-curricular activities, and trying to maintain a schedule of having balanced meals on the table! It can take several weeks for me to start getting into the “school routine” again and quite a bit of flexibility/tweaking on what to have for the evening meals. With sports practices and games, something quick and easy (yet nutritious) is the top three requirements on my list for meals.  Here are some meal planning tips to help ease the transition from carefree summer to the hustle and bustle of September:

Meal Planning:  Time Saving Tips:

  • Supermarket Ease. Grated, chopped, or pre-washed foods such as bagged salad and cut up fruit/veggies. Frozen veggies and fruits are simple to use. Already cooked meats can be time savers.
  • Open a Can. Rinse or choose lower sodium canned veggies and beans. Unsweetened or juice packed canned fruits are simple additions to meals or as snacks.
  • Serve no-cook meals. Make simple meals like salads with canned beans and fish or sandwiches with lean meat or cheese and sliced vegetables.
  • Cook when you have more time. On the weekends, make soups, stews, or casseroles. Cook larger amounts of lean meat or whole grains to add to meals later in the week. Freeze some of your meals for really hectic days.
  • Fewer ingredient recipes. Choose recipes with fewer ingredients that can be prepared quickly. Try kids cookbooks for ideas.

Check out these DAHLC offerings to help make September meals A+:

  • Cooking demo: 30 Minute Meals Learn quick meals to make after work or when evenings get busy! Sept. 12 @12:15 to 12:45 pm  or Sept. 14 @ 11:15 to 11:45
  • Dinner and Demo: ABC's of Fall: Enjoy a dinner prepared by our very own chef team. While you enjoy the sight, aromas and taste, we will demonstrate how to prepare it at home! Sept. 28 @ 6:00 to 6:45 pm
  • Nutrition corner:  Meal Planning Simplified!  Sept. 15 @ 4:30 to 5:15 pm

Eat Well,

Tags: Blog, Eat Well, Eat Well, fall, Healthy Eating, Nutrition

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