With many schools remaining out of session this fall, we’ve all had to become surprise homeschool teachers. When everyone is home all day, that means you are probably providing all three meals/day. This can start to feel like you are running not only a school but a full time cafe.
In step 6, you will find a kid friendly recipe booklet I created just for you!
Here are a few tips to help you feel organized, efficient, and also nutritiously set up for success!
1. Schedule time in your calendar before mealtime.
With working from home and homeschooling responsibilities, it can be stressful to get 3 meals on the table. If you block out time in your calendar for meal preparation (even if it’s just 15 minutes), it can help mealtimes feel more peaceful and less chaotic. When we have enough time, we can take more time to prepare things such as vegetables rather than just a last minute frozen pizza for every meal (a frozen pizza is totally ok for some meals as well!)
2. Plan a longer lunch into your schedule if possible.
This will allow you time to prep ahead for dinner. This is advantageous because you can combine some of the lunch clean up with dinner’s clean up. When providing 3 meals/day at home, it can be sanity preserving to consolidate dish washing so you don’t feel like you are doing it all day long.
3. Incorporate kitchen clean up into the curriculum.
Take a page from Japanese school books where students clean their school daily.
4. Batch Cooking
Taking an hour or two to prepare meals or ingredients on the weekend for the week ahead can help to set you up for success. This time can be extremely helpful for washing and prepping veggies!
5. Emergency meal plan
Have a few options for meals that require no parental supervision and/or require no prep time. This will be a lifesaver when you have a meeting run late, or when you have too many emails to catch up on!
6. Family Meal Planning
When you involve the family in the meal planning process, it becomes a more collaborative effort from the start. Then, you can post the menu in the kitchen where all family members can see it and help with meal prep throughout the week.
To get you started, here is a booklet of kid friendly recipes!
7. Organize your shopping list
When you organize your shopping list by grocery store section (i.e. produce, dairy, dry goods, fish/meats, etc), your shopping experience will become much more efficient/less stressful. You will no longer be darting back and forth across the store, and you will be able to get all your list items on the first pass through the section. I love using the app Paprika to meal plan, organize, and shop for my family’s weekly meals.
Summer is in full swing!
Kari Sharp, RDN
is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a mission to help children and their families achieve a healthful and nutritious lifestyle.