Crazy sports and activity schedules can be a challenge to family meals. Add in homework, family commitments, etc. and things get hectic. It is still possible to enjoy shared food, fun, and conversation – even during busy seasons. Here are a few tips on getting the kids (and yourself) fed without having to give up nutrition or quality dinner time together.
Eating at the Field: Turn dinner into a picnic or tail gate. Throw in some fresh fruit and veggies, insulated water bottles, paper plates and utensils, and you’re all set!
- Portable Foods: lunch box favorites are an easy way to get everyone fed with sandwiches, wraps, pitas, tortas, or burritos.
Eating at Home: If you want everyone to sit down together at home, everyone has to be prepared. Kids gather clothing and equipment the night before and parents prep meal the night before.
- Slow Cooker meals: Most recipes require a little preparation, and then the cooking occurs while you’re busy doing other things. here are a few of our slow cooker recipes and tips:
- Weekend Meal Prep: Prepare enough of a dish to eat multiple times during the week. Making leftovers part of your plan can save money and time. Cool, chill or freeze, then pack leftovers so they may be easily reheated in a microwave.
Tips for Success:
- Plan ahead and be flexible: Planning ahead relieves stress and is easier on your budget. Take some time to look at team schedules so you know what nights you may want to eat at home, eat at the field, or planning for meals to go with kids going to different places!
- Early Dinner: You may schedule an early dinner at home (4:00 or 4:30 pm?) Then, if your kids are still hungry after the game, consider a healthy and filling snack before bedtime, like a smoothie or an apple. Nutritious Snacks & Mini-meals for Your Family
What kind of nutrition do kids need during their sports season?
Kids with busy after-school schedules (soccer, dance, swimming, marching band, baseball, wrestling, gymnastics, piano lessons, youth organizations, academic clubs, etc.) need to get plenty of sleep, proper hydration, and the right foods to make a difference in energy level, focus, and athletic performance. Here are nutrition guidelines for every ages and activity level: https://www.myplate.gov/life-stages
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make the ideal family dinner happen during this time. Just do your best and try to have fun together in the process.