You know the parents who seem to have it all pulled together? The superwomen who have 2 or more children, work full-time and manage to make elaborate homemade Valentines for their kids' school party while maintaining a set of perfectly manicured nails? They are really no more "super" than the rest of us-they just have the knack of time management and a few creative tricks to squeeze more hours out of their day.
Between long days at the office, car pools, soccer games and ballet lessons, most parents have no time to take care of themselves. The key is to get more mileage out of your planning, allowing you more family time, more play time and a little time left over for one very important person-YOU!
Many of us are starting to feel overwhelmed as the first day of school approaches. There is really no reason why the words “BACK TO SCHOOL” need to bring on a sense of panic. Here are a few ideas for putting healthy food on the table and in the lunch box in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Frozen Smoothie Packs
Too busy scrambling to get out the door in the morning to cook a healthy breakfast? You don't have to resort to Pop-Tarts or sugar cereal. On Sunday night, make several smoothie bags filled with your choice of fresh fruit and freeze for the week. In the morning, just empty the contents of a bag and blend. Save money by buying frozen fruit and you can have organic fruit off-season.
Mason Jar Salads
Nothing is easier, healthier or less expensive than making your own grab and go salads. Place your salad dressing and other wet ingredients at the bottom of the jar. Add any fixings of your choice. Finish by placing your leafy greens at the top. When you are ready, just shake and enjoy. These salads can be made a few days in advance, and you are doing something good for the environment by toting these attractive jars.
Single Serving Soups
Do your kids treat you like you're running a restaurant? Each child demands something different for dinner, and you wind up with plates full of unwanted and uneaten food? Cut yourself some slack with single servings of soup that you can pour into a muffin tin, freeze and place in a plastic Ziploc until you are ready to eat. These are perfect for when the kids get home late from practice, and you will stop wasting food because you defrost only what you need.