I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is cook during the summer. I mean, I can see my kids through the kitchen window running through the sprinkler and eating popsicles. I don’t want to stand in a hot kitchen.
So today I wanted to offer you a few tips for creating a minimal meal plan in the summer and still having lots of time for play!
Keep it simple
Think of quick meals that don’t require your oven. Sandwiches and fruit. Great salads. Or a snacky dinner. I looked up “ovenless dinners” on Pinterest and found a ton of ideas!
Use your slow cooker.
It’s not just for fall. Throw some stuff in there before you head out for the day. If you’re looking for inspiration I wrote a post called 65+ slow cooker recipes for any occasion
Cook one day a week.
This is something we do often, and that is batch cook on Sunday evening. Seriously. Batch cooking saves lives.
So we might grill several cutes of meat, roast some vegetables, prechop fruit, cook some grains and get everything prepped for the week.
Plan for all three meals
Because summer has a loose schedule, it’s easy to fall into a weird meal planning nebula and then your kids just ate popsicles for breakfast and lunch. (No judgment! I’ve done that.)
Instead, bake up a batch of muffins or waffles. Throw some oatmeal or eggs in the instant pot. Keep lunch stuff handy. Peanut butter, cheese, pretzels, etc. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE deal.
Have a snack schedule.
One thing I hear from a lot of parents is that their summer grocery budget goes haywire because their kids snack all day.
Set up a snack schedule. My kids know they get a snack at 10 and one at 3 and not to ask for anything in between because I will say no. We have breakfast at 7:30 or 8. Snack at 10. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. a snack at 3 or 4 p.m. and dinner at 6. Outside of those times the kitchen is closed.
It might help to keep your child on the same meal and snack schedule they were on at school.