Simplify Your Back-to-School Week

AUGUST 22, 2023  /  KELLI NAPOTNIK  / 

Simplify Your Back-to-School Week
Our family won't begin school until the beginning of September, but many families are starting this week! I love the beginning of the school year. I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the feel of brand new notebooks ready for notetaking. I find joy in opening a new box of crayons or colored pencils and using them for the first time. This newness was something that was magical for me when I was a child and it continues to be that way for me now as an adult. Conversely, I'm also well aware of the challenges that come with the start of a new year and schedule. A little pre-planning for the transition to the school year can go a long way!
To help make this season less stressful, it's an excellent time to intentionally keep your meals simple. Personally, I find it helpful to stick to easy, simple meals that you know your family enjoys and don't be overly ambitious with trying new recipes when so many other changes are taking place. My advice would be the same for school lunches. Remember to give yourself some grace and have your kids help you with the packing process each week. I love the ideas Maureen shares in her post, Simple Back to School Lunch Ideas. She lists 5 simple lunch ideas that your kids could help put together!
My oldest will be turning 15 this month. One of my goals for this year is to teach her how to plan out and prepare meals. Sharing meal responsibilities with your family teaches life long skills and this might be the year to begin including your family if you haven't already.
Here are some wonderful, easy meal ideas you can make for the beginning of your back-to-school season! You probably already make many of these meals, so stick with the version you know your family enjoys. You can go through this rotation weekly which makes it easy on you too as you think through what food you want to have on hand for the week.
My favorites include:
  • Monday Night Meatballs - This recipe looks delicious by Half Baked Harvest.
  • Taco Tuesday - Spice up your tacos with a tender pulled beef recipe prepared in a pressure cooker!
  • Wednesday Night Spaghetti - This spaghetti sauce is a Take Them A Meal favorite.
  • Thursday Night Beans and Rice with Toppings - I grew up eating beans and rice once a week during the school year. My mom cooked beans in a crockpot to help save money on groceries and I continue this tradition with my family. I spice it up with fresh tomatoes, chopped onions, cheese and Tobasco sauce! If you're lucky enough to have fresh tomatoes from the garden, I envy you!
  • Friday Fun Night-Pizza! - You can save time by buying the premade crusts or by using pitas or naan bread instead. If you want something homemade, but know you won't have time that evening, make your pizza dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer a few nights before. My friend Courtney does this so she has pizza dough on hand, ready for playdates for the kids or a quick homemade meal. See this recipe here to make your own dough to freeze. Then, you would simply take the dough out to thaw, bring to room temperature, roll out and then bake.
Visit us on Instagram to see our cute back-to-school basket made especially for kids returning to school. This is a fun addition to a meal you are taking this time of the year and it could easily be customized for a teacher.
Happy first week of school!

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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Coordinating a meal for a group?