This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.
It’s back to school time which means I’m mentally prepping for our new schedule and another school year. I was JUST talking to Bern, my husband, the other day about getting back into the swing of our school schedule and meals. Since he is a high-school teacher, I prep his meals as well. At the beginning of every single school year I have my act together like a ninja. Fast-forward to the end of the school year and well…my ninja skills have faded. Goals for this coming year – be on top of my game the entire year!
So here goes year #5 of prepping school meals…breakfast, lunch and snacks- here we go with my tried and true tips, tricks and hacks!
11 Back to School Meal Tips, Tricks & Hacks
Tip #1 Be on top of your game
Know the week ahead, how many meals you need to prepare for. This helps you create your meal list, grocery list and have a plan. Sometimes there is a school lunch the kids may want to eat or a field trip…know your week ahead to prepare efficiently.
Tip #2 Give yourself grace
Yes strive to create a balanced meal…but give yourself grace on those busy weeks. A frozen breakfast, lunch or dinner is still better than going through a drive- thru…it still saves you time and money in the end. It’s not the end of the world…in-fact you would probably be surprised at how much the family loves this treat and wants to make it a regular habit!!
Some of our favorites are the State Fair® 100% Beef Corn Dogs for lunches or a fast dinner…or a delicious and filling Jimmy Dean® Breakfast Sandwich to grab and go on a hurried morning. These can be snagged on my Walmart run which saves me time as well –> plus get this Shopkick offer (insert url)
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Tip #3 Plan
Make your meal plan for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. From there create a grocery shopping list to know exactly what you need. In the end this saves time and money.
Trick #4 Meal prep for the entire week ahead
Choose a time that you can dedicate to doing all of your meal prep for the week. I keep this idea in mind when I’m planning my meals for the week as well. I’ll refer to #9 (below) and choose meals/ideas that are good to eat when I make ahead of time. This saves me a ton of time throughout the week.
Hack #5 Freeze drinks to duel as ice packs
Are you sending a bottle of water or box drink? Freeze it ahead of time and use it as the ice pack for the lunch.
Hack #6 Have a lunch packing station
Have a dedicated basket/station in your kitchen with all of the supplies you need to grab quickly for your lunch boxes for the week. You can include: napkins, utensils, notepad/pen for sweet notes to include, fruit, snacks, sandwich/snack bags etc.
Hack #7 No more broken chips or crackers
Crushed chips or crackers are a bummer, but if you put chips in a small zipper top bag and blow it full of air before sealing, those chips will have a little air pillow to protect them.
Tip #8 Get the kids involved
Have your kids help choose meals and snack ideas…then get them in on prepping. They can take larger size bags of snacks and divide into smaller bags (helps save money) or re-stock your packing station –> #6
Trick #9 Make a meal idea list
I keep a running list of meal/snack ideas. This saves me a ton of time too…I don’t have to spend time curating a meal plan or list….I keep it rotated and choose what sounds good for the week ahead.
I’ll add to this list from time to time when I come across a new find or idea along the way.
Trick #10 Use straws for yogurt or applesauce
What a fun way to pack a lunch bag and stay a bit cleaner by removing the lid to yogurt/applesauce and packing a spoon – just pack a straw (cut them in half and place in your #6) and they can poke it through the top of the cup.
Tip #11 Stock Up
Find a sale? Stock up. Buy in bulk and stock up. Anytime I can grab a few extra things to stock up it makes life easier all the way around. I know I have what I need and not going to the store every.single.week. Time saver and in the end a money saver!
What other tips/tricks/hacks do you mama’s have for this mama? PLEASE share!!!
Hi I’m Erin a Southern mama from South Mississippi, owner and chief editor of Sixth Bloom a blog helping mom-tographers capture their kiddos and life, talking all things home, parenting and how we navigate through life. You will find me living life to the fullest with my mister (aka husband) and our little one year old, Miss E, in our 500+ sq foot cottage as we build our dream house on our two acres! We are blessed beyond measure, love to travel, involved in ministry at our church and in between all of that I run three successful businesses! Follow me at: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST