I’ll be the first to admit that I’m all for making mealtimes easier, especially with the kids here more due to the pandemic AND having to go from making three meals a day two days per week to making three meals a day seven days a week.
Plus, in between managing the kids while virtual learning goes on I have work tasks to do, have to make time for fitness, chores, and whatever else pops up unexpectedly each day.
I’m sure you can relate.
While we don’t order out unless it’s an emergency, I do want to make sure that everyone is eating somewhat healthy each day without having to spend multiple hours preparing meals.
Now, don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the mood to cook I’ll easily whip up some five-star meals, but let’s be honest this isn’t something that happens every day and with the whole virtual school thing it happens even rarer than before. I just don’t have the energy.
Thankfully, I have some hacks for making mealtimes easier and today I’m sharing them with you.
You don’t have to go all out on breakfast
While it’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for kids, it doesn’t mean that you need to have a breakfast platter laid out for them every morning.
Breakfast could be something as simple as some turkey sausage patties or links with some eggs and toast. Simply pop the toast in the toaster and make the eggs and sausage in under ten minutes in your stainless steel frying pan.
Other alternatives include items from the store’s frozen department such as breakfast burritos, sausage, egg, and cheese croissants, or chicken sandwiches.
If you tend to go for items such as cereal and oatmeal during the school week (which is of course more than fine – I’ve done it before) be sure to check out my quick kids breakfast ideas for some easy kids breakfast ideas that even you’ll enjoy.
Throw lunch in the air fryer
We replaced our microwave with an air fryer and boy does that air fryer get put to good use now since the kids are here for lunch more.
If the kids aren’t in the mood for a sandwich I can throw in some chicken strips and fries or shrimp and tater tots for about 20 to 30 minutes before their lunch break and get some chores done while it cooks.
The air fryer cuts time from using the oven, is a better alternative than the microwave, AND you don’t have to keep checking on the food/flipping it, etc. You put it in let it cook, wait for the timer, and serve.
See Also: PowerXL Air Fryer Pro Review
Light dinners can be filling too
Now that all of the boys are on the drumline, it means school isn’t officially over for them until six. On practice days I like to use this time to work later to either finish up things that I need to do so I don’t have to get back on after they are cared for or to get a jump start on the next day.
This results in a late start with dinner, which means I meal plan in light dinners three days a week for them.
For example, they may have something such as grilled chicken nuggets, mixed veggies, and rice. The meal fills them up and it takes less than a half-hour for me to make, which is a win for everyone.
Mealtimes can be easy with kids
As you can see mealtimes can be easy with kids.
They can still have healthy and filling meals without you having to spend hours in the kitchen each day.
We’re all busier than ever while trying to recover from the effects of the pandemic and those three or more hours spent preparing elaborate meals daily could be better spent than in the kitchen.