Paleo Dinners On The Go
It’s that terrible, wonderful time of year. The kids are back in school, the lazy days of Summer are behind us, and we have overscheduled ourselves down to the nanosecond. Truthfully, I always said I would never be a “soccer mom” (not that there is anything wrong with soccer, or motherhood…clearly). But I see the lifestyle that evolves when the kids each have 327 sports, homework, scouts, et al, and dinner soon becomes something you eat out of a cardboard box in the back of the car.
Routines are good though. So are sports. Really, when you have more than one child even enrolled in just a single extracurricular activity, schedules can become frenetic in just a blink. Even in my feeble attempts to keep our “extras” limited, I still find myself running from place to place, throwing changes of clothing in the backseat and triple checking, “Did you bring your <<fill in the blank>>?!?!”
How do we merge the busy-ness of raising school-aged children with after school activities, with the tradition of sitting down for dinner? REAL dinner. Dinner with veggies and protein that aren’t out of a can or box or bag? This is something that has become increasingly important to me, almost to the point of obsession. It’s like a mathematical word problem: If Noah has 3 hours of gymnastics promptly after school, and bath and bed come directly after gymnastics, WHEN and WHERE are dinner and HOW can it possibly happen????!
Here’s how…. and keep in mind, I am a military spouse (husband’s schedule ever-changing) with a more-than-full-time job, and I stay at home (and work from home) with my kids. I’m not saying a homemade dinner every night is easy. But there are some things we can do to make it possible. Here are some tips:
- Make meals in your Instant Pot. Seriously, it doesn’t get easier. If you aren’t using an Instant Pot, I’m convinced you just like to torture yourself. It’s such a dream and meals are done quickly and easily. You can find my round up of recipes for the IP HERE. Also, best decision I made was to grab a spare IP bowl so once you finish one dish, you can make another right after without having to clean up! You can find that HERE!
2.Make meals in your Slow Cooker. I’ve got a round up of those too so you can “fix it and forget it”. Soups and stews are perfect in a Slow Cooker. Keep in mind the Instant Pot has a slow cooker feature as well! You can find my round up of recipes for the Slow Cooker HERE.
3. Eat LEFTOVERS! Trying to come up with new ideas day in and day out can be a bit overwhelming. Make enough for more than one meal when you cook and if you aren’t in the mood to serve the same thing two nights in a row, then alternate and come back.
4. Pack Your Meal To-Go! No, it’s not the same as sitting around the dinner table. And it’s not always ideal. But if you are able to get nutrition into your family, and you have a few minutes on the field before practice, why not take advantage of a quick, unorthodox, meal outside together?! It could be worse, and in the end you are still feeding your family the good stuff. I bought THESE on Amazon, and fed my son my Everything Soup before his gymnastics practice tonight. On days when my daughters have their activities, I’ll be doing something similar. Real food wins, wherever it is! And yes they’re BPA free. And also yes, I have a microwave AND a TV in my house. The horror.
5. Grab Paleo Kids Cookbook! Truthfully, I’ve written this book not just to be a fun way to get your kids in the kitchen, but to be a tool to families who really and truly want to eat better but just can’t quite figure out how. Many of these recipes can be made ahead and pulled out of the fridge or freezer and made portable. Meat Pockets, Turkey Burger Sliders, Quesadillas, Pizza Pockets can all be taken on the go for easy eats that are better choices for your family. You can find it HERE.
6. Batch Cook and Freeze! This is something I am less good at honestly but it helps so many stay on track to know they have food already made and in the freezer. Taken out the night before, thawed, and then reheated makes life easier, let’s face it.
7. Meal Plan! I’ll be honest, I don’t meal plan because my food cravings change so frequently. It’s like permanent pregnancy but NOT! But seriously, I have a hard time meal planning because I never know if I’ll be in the mood for that planned meal, BUT, I know it’s a good thing and helps many. So do as I say and not as I do!
Hope these tips help you feel like you have a little more control over the daily chaos of life. Just so you know, I’m in the trenches with y’all!