Families are busy and the booming market for prepared meals, packaged snacks and line-ups at the drive thru’s can attest to the fact that weekday home cooked meals are on the decline.
I have 3 active daughters and getting each to their dance, swimming, music, and gymnastics classes means a couple nights a week we are on the road from school pick up at 3:30 until well after 7pm. Not wanting to send my kids to their activities on an empty stomach and not happy with the sugary, fat laden options at the coffee shop drive thru, I began getting more creative with my after school snacks on the road.
Knowing crackers and cheese wasn’t a nutritious enough dinner to keep them going, it wasn’t long before quick dinners in the van were required.
As long as I planned a bit ahead and had 10-20 minutes at home before grabbing the kids at school (or if yours have an after school care program), I could show up with a hot and nutritious meal they could eat on the way to their first activity. The bonus of giving them a balanced mini-meal is they get enough fuel to recharge and avoid any dips in energy right to the last pick up of the evening.
More than just a granola bar and cut up fruit, these meals provide the kids with protein, fibre, whole grains, calcium and vitamins they need to support their growing bodies and energy they need for their activities after school.
Pack healthy snacks for short nights on the road and try these healthy quick mini-meals if the after school activities stretch into after the dinner hour.
Fuel a hungry crowd in a minivan or even use these quick meals at home when dinner time is rushed and you need to get out the door.
Find a great container that separates food for you and then pack it with some of these suggestions – all ready to go in less than 10 minutes.
Garlic shrimp, whole wheat noodles with green beans
Tuna melt on whole wheat bun with cooked carrots
Chicken Panini, sweet potato fries
Chili on a bun, cucumber, apple slices
Spaghetti squash, chicken pieces and cooked carrots
Macaroni & cheese made with squash and cooked broccoli
Chicken pizza, raw veggies and hummus
Mini quiche with cauliflower, whole wheat bun and almonds