Happy Mama, Lunch, Meal Prep, Mom Life, Preschool, Simplify


Do you ever find yourself staring into the fridge around noon while your kids are climbing the walls and declaring that they are starving just hoping that some prepared meal is going to suddenly appear for you to take out and serve for lunch?

Me too!

Lunch is one of those things that use to stress me out. I would try every day to come up with some grand meal for my kids that wasn’t the same thing they had eaten yesterday. But I finally figured something out: my kids don’t care if they ate it yesterday! They don’t care if they have the same meal every day for lunch all the time. So I stopped trying to be super creative and decided to be super simple instead. I do have a few different options that I pull out, but for the most part lunch for kids is pretty much the same things. Here’s what we do:

Protein Choices: Cheese and Turkey cut up into bites (or something fun shapes if I’m being really fun), yogurt, peanut butter sandwich, or peanut butter spread on crackers, or a spoonful of peanut butter

Grain Choices: Whole wheat crackers, pretzels, cheese crackers

Fruit Choices: grapes, bananas, apple sauce, or oranges. (I’ll pick one or two that they have all week)

That’s it! Super simple, super quick, super happy kids, non-stressed mama.


Part two of how this works really well for us is this: Make lunches for the whole week!

Since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and we homeschool, we are home for lunch most days. But I figured out it was still easier to pack a bunch of lunches at the start of the week and then when my kids are unable to live without food a second longer ready for lunch I can just grab the containers from the fridge and set them on the table. It also works great for days that we have co op or head out for a playdate or even need to run errands during lunch time. I don’t have to even think about it, I just throw the containers in a bag and we’re ready to go. I like these Bento Divided Lunch Containers the best, especially since they have different colored lids for each kid.


Do your kids have a favorite lunch?



Meal Prep, Simplify


Summer is for relaxing and slowing down. So who wants to spend those lovely summer evenings over a hot stove, or slaving away in the kitchen?

Around our house we’ve been doing things super simple for supper…mostly because I don’t want to drag myself in the kitchen for a ton of prep work, but also because it’s been enjoyable for our family. These are a few of the easy summer recipes that we’ve had on repeat:

Grilled Chicken Salad – At the beginning of the week I usually wash and chop up a big bunch of lettuce and vegetables that we can enjoy for salad a couple of times during the week. I like to eat grilled chicken on mine as well to really fill me up and give me the needed protein. Sometimes we will grill a few chicken breasts to have on hand, and sometimes I buy the precooked frozen chicken and just toss some in the microwave as we prep for dinner. Our favorite vegetables for salad are carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes, but you can find your favorites and experiment with different combinations.


Fish – We buy the packages of frozen fish (salmon) from Aldi, so we always have fish in the freezer. I can pull out a couple of these in the morning to let them defrost then just add a little lemon juice and some simple seasoning and put them in the oven. SUPER easy. Our family favorites are this Greek Seasoning and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. To keep things really simple I will toss some frozen vegetables in a pot on the stove and we’re good to go.


Meal Prep, Simplify


I love finding ways to simplify things around the house, and if I can find a way to do a bunch of work at one time and then not have to do it later I’m a happy mama.

So when it comes to meal prep I have a system that I use some weeks and when I do it I LOVE it.

I prep meals for the entire week on one day in an hour or less.

Yep. That’s right. I spend one hour or less in the kitchen and I’m good for the whole week!

And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds.

So how does it work. Well I started out using the plans from Five Dinners in One Hour she gives the meal plan, a shopping list, and EXACT directions on preparing the meals. I HIGHLY recommend her plans – she offers a free sample plan to give it a try and there are several different meal plan options to choose from.

From the website describing how it works:

5 dinners 1 hour is a unique meal prep system created to save you time and money. 5 dinners are prepped in an hour (or less) and ready for you to easily cook on on even your busiest weeknights. Meals are fresh, not frozen and hang out in your fridge until ready to cook.

  • Organized shopping list that makes shopping easy and stress free.
  • Detailed prep instructions to get 5 dinners prepped in a hour or less.
  • Cooking directions that help you get dinner on the table fast.


I love, love, LOVE this system and knowing that usually all I need to do is pull a dish out of the fridge and stick it in the oven in time for dinner. NO worrying. I use these dishes to easily stack the meals in the fridge until time to cook the meals, then I just stick them in the dishwasher for easy clean up.

Once I had done a few of the plans I felt like I had learned enough to adapt some of my own meals (plus I saved all my meal plans I had received from the site) so now I have a repertoire of meals that I can prepare on Monday and be ready for the week.

If you like preparing ahead of time, but are overwhelmed by things like once a month cooking or don’t have a huge freezer for meals, this is PERFECT! I recommend you give this a try and let me know how it works for you!