BACK TO SCHOOL RECIPE IDEAS
I have gotten a lot of messages asking about menu ideas for the BACK TO SCHOOL season. School is either back in session already OR your kids are getting ready to start. NOW is the time to start planning out meals to keep yourself sane. These are some of my tried & true tips for making the transition easy…for everyone. 😉
Breakfast Ideas: You need something quick, easy, kid friendly & filling.
Morning Muffins to the rescue! (English muffin, eggs, cheese, a meat of your choice)
Get creative! You can create MANY different muffin recipes just by switching a few of the ingredients. Switch a bagel or bagel thin for your English muffin. Swap egg whites for whole eggs. Load up on a variety of different cheeses (I currently love a pepper jack slice to add some spice). Add a meat to your muffin. This can be as easy as a deli ham or turkey slice or choose your favorite bacon/sausage. If your prep all of those ingredients on Sunday you can quickly build a Morning Muffin that your kiddos will love.
Sandwich Swaps: Most lunches consist of some kind of sandwich. Well it’s time to change it up! Swap out the traditional bread sandwich for a more creative one. There are plenty of options in the bakery or bread aisle. A few ideas…bagels, wraps, pita pockets, sub buns, fresh bakery rolls…check it out & see what your family likes. You can also add some cheese to those sandwiches, pickles on top or on the side.
Snacks: Trail mixes are always a hit. Again the variety is endless on this snack. Let the kids get involved in choosing some of the ingredients & then let them mix it up.
Fresh fruit, fresh veggies with hummus or a Greek dressing (Bolthouse is my fav brand), applesauce, Greek yogurt with toppers (toppers can be a variety of things…fruit, nuts, granola, a cookie (yes…1 of your favorite cookies on top is DIVINE!), etc.
Dinner Ideas: Dinner is a time when some parents are totally drained from their day & then have to take on the after school sports, events & activities. This leaves many families running through the drive-thru. PLAN AHEAD and you can skip the lines & enjoy something healthier and just as quick. Again…get your family involved in this dinner meal plan.
Some quick & picky eater approved meals my family loves are:
- Tacos or Fajitas (pre-make your taco meat or fajita chicken/steak on prep day)
- ANYTHING you can make in a crock pot. (pulled pork sandwiches, salsa chicken (great alternative for taco/fajita meat…also amazing on top of nachos OR a chicken burrito bowl — RECIPE BELOW)
- Spaghetti & meatballs (healthy version- use lean meat & whole wheat pasta OR swap the pasta for spaghetti squash)
- Burgers are always a hit. Use lean meat to keep it healthy. Pair with a side salad or grilled veggies.
Here is a great formula for the base of all your meals…
LEAN protein source
Ask your family to get involved in the meal planning. The more involved the better. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches, time and money by getting the things they like and want to eat. It will also be the perfect time to bring up proper nutrition & fueling your body for the days activities. Teach them young.
CROCK POT CHICKEN BURRITO BOWL
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 teaspoons of onion powder
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons of chili powder
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 3/4 cups of instant whole grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded Colby jack cheese
- Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.
- Pour chicken broth over chicken breasts and stir in canned tomatoes, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours.
- Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker. Chop or shred chicken.
- Turn slow cooker to high and stir in instant rice and black beans.
- Let cook 30-45 minutes on high, or until rice is tender.
- Add chicken back in, top with cheese and let cook a few minutes longer until cheese is melted.
- Serve with fresh diced tomatoes, sour cream, green onions, avocados or guacamole.