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Dinner solutions for on-the-go sports families

With my kids getting older now (12, 9 & 5 years) - life is getting busier.

But in a different way than constantly being sleep-deprived and chasing around a crazy toddler!

Instead it's non-stop filling out school forms, juggling volunteering and kids activity schedules.

Our 12-year-old boy plays travel hockey (stressful being a goalie mom, I tell you!). Our 9-year-old daughter is in basketball. And our 5-year-old son has no choice but to get dragged around, with no activity of his own this year #thirdchildsyndrome

One thing I struggled with during September hockey evaluations was what to do for dinner when we're at the hockey rink over dinner time. Multiple times a week. With 1 day's notice!

The kids and I ate Subway more that I'd like to admit.

We will have many nights when we have to leave the house at 4-4:30 pm. And are out until 7 or 8 pm. 

And I know I’m not alone in this! Because I put a call out for help on Instagram and Facebook, and fellow sports moms have some great ideas.

Take food to go:

One woman on my Facebook page shared some amazing photos of individually boxed dinners such as chicken salad, tortellini or taco salad she makes for her family to-go.

Other ideas included sandwiches (my kids won’t complain about PB&J!) + veggies.

Or fill Thermoses with hot meals (more on freezer meals below). One of my favourites is this Turkey Chilli.

Eat before and after the activity:

Lots of parents suggested having two mini-meals or larger snacks. Before you leave the house, and again when you get home. 

These have to be simple, quick meals to make.

Some ideas I got were: eggs and toast, sandwiches, leftovers or breakfast sandwiches.

I have some quick dinner recipes I can make at home for early dinner. If you haven't downloaded my 15 easy dinnertime recipes for busy nights grab it here. 

Or something that you can prep beforehand in the crockpot, instant pot or pull out of the freezer works great too. 

I love making double batches and throwing one or two meals in the freezer. But not all recipes work well in the freezer when re-heated. Some get watery, others get mushy.

I’ve added a few of these recipes onto my meal plan this week, from Pinch of Yum: 16 healthy freezer meals (that you’ll actually love)

And a great cookbook for freezer meals is: From Freezer to Table. 75+ simple, whole-food recipes for gathering cooking and sharing.

When you’re always on the run, it’s still important to try and have a few meals together at the table as a family during the week. Even if it’s breakfast or eating out. As you know I’m a big proponent of family meals and here’s why!

On Instagram, Amy Reed Nutrition brings up also trying to have family meals as important: “Sometimes I feel it is better to stop for pizza and eat as a family than stress about making and packing meals. There is not a perfect solution.” So true!

If you have any more ideas of managing busy activity nights and food, comment below!

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