The back to school rush can be tough on all of us – and figuring out what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be downright stressful. Huge thanks to our guest blogger, Kingsland mom Marissa Velasquez, who created these recipes. Thanks, Marissa!
I cannot believe it is time for all the kids and their teachers to go back to school. How summer just flies by! In my former life (you know, the one before having a child) I was a teacher, so I know exactly what goes on this time of the year- moms and dads are taking their kids off to get new backpacks, clothes, pencils, etc. Everyone is nervous and anxious to find out who their new teacher is. Parents are probably ecstatic that the little ones will be back in a productive and structured environment, but perhaps cringing at the thought of having to go through the “Get your homework done now!” battles again. I get it: going back to school can be an exciting and stressful time for all members of a family. Believe it or not, teachers feel the same way. With all the time spent getting lesson plans and classrooms ready it is hard to think about much else!
I want to share some easy, quick and very delicious meals to help make the transition back to school a little easier for parents, kids, and of course their teachers!
Breakfast. Each and every morning of that first week of school is possibly the most chaotic part of the day during back to school time. It can be crazy getting everyone fed and dressed on time while making sure they have all their fancy new supplies. While I cannot help you get your little ones ready and out the door in a punctual manner, I can help you speed up the feeding part of the morning.
The solution to your problem is simple: no, not cereal- meal prep! Take an hour on Sunday to prep for Monday’s breakfast. Once you try it, you will never go back. It will allow you to feed your child a well-balanced meal without having to take the time that morning to do it.
My son’s favorite breakfast item: Pancake Bites. You are essentially baking pancakes in a muffin tin, adding in your favorite toppings, and BAM- you have a handheld pancake! These are great for mornings on the go.
What you will need:
- Pancake Mix
- Maple Syrup
- Favorite Pancake Toppings or sides (blueberries, strawberries, sausage, bacon, etc.)
- Muffin Tin
- Nonstick Spray
1) Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2) Prepare pancake mix according to package instructions (to make a dozen you will need about 2-3 cups of the mix depending on how large or small your muffin tin is)
3) Pour pancake batter into greased muffin tins, filling each space just below the top.
4) Take your favorite toppings and push them into the batter, leaving some to sprinkle on top.
5) This next part is all up to you and your preference. You can pour some syrup into each pancake bite (this is a good option if your family is in a rush every morning- the syrup is all built in aka no mess if you have to eat breakfast in the car) or you can leave the syrup out if you know you will have time to add it in the morning while sitting down to eat breakfast. They taste great either way!
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
These will stay good stored in the refrigerator for the whole school week, or stored in the freezer if you decided to make a big batch the multiple weeks. Just pop pancake bite into the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute when you are ready to eat.
Lunch is a very important meal during the school year, especially from a teacher’s perspective. It gives kids that extra boost of energy to stay focused and get through the rest of the school day. I have recently tried a new lunch item that will spruce up your kid’s lunch and make them think, “Wow, Mom and Dad are pretty cool!” We will not be going crazy trying to recreate those amazing/ very time consuming “box lunch” ideas from Pinterest, this is a simple yet very fun idea to jazz up lunch time. This cool idea is what I call Sushi Sandwiches.
What you will need:
- Sandwich bread (no crust)
- Filling for sandwich (PB & J, PB & Banana, Hummus, Avocado, Spinach, Turkey, Ham, etc.)
- Rolling Pin
1) Take one slice of crust-less bread and use rolling pin to roll it out as thin as you can.
2) Spread the toppings of your choosing on your bread. Note – it is helpful to have a topping like hummus or peanut butter to help the bread stick after you roll it up.
3) Roll the bread up as tightly as you can, like a sushi roll.
4) Slice 1⁄2-1 pieces from the roll.
Dinner: After school, work, and after-school activities, dinner can be tough. You want something easy that no one will complain about. What do we like to do in our house so that everyone gets exactly what they want with minimal effort from me? I create buffets. You cook one main item and then make a “buffet” of all the things your crew could want on their dish, allowing each person to customize their own meal.
- Burger/ Hot Dog – Cook the patties/ dogs and offer onions, lettuce, tomato, bacon, etc.
- Salad – Lettuce of your choosing, then offer various toppings and dressings.
- Pasta – Cook pasta and offer different sauces, meat and veggie toppings.
- Panini – Give everyone a baguette and let them create their own sandwich, then press it!
- Taco – Everyone gets the same meat, they choose type of tortillas and toppings.
Our family’s new favorite buffet item is the Taco Muffin, which I think would be a perfect back to school dinner item (Since they are portable, you could even put leftovers in your child’s lunch for the next day too!).
What you will need:
- Ground Beef
- Taco Seasoning
- Store bought biscuits
- Shredded Cheese
- Any toppings you like on your tacos- sour cream, guacamole, salsa, olives, green onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, etc.)
- Muffin Tin
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Cook ground beef with taco seasoning according to package instructions. Set aside.
3) Roll each biscuit out until it is flat and 1⁄4 inch thick.
4) Press biscuit into each space on muffin tin and fill with taco meat.
5) Top with cheese.
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes of until cheese is bubbly and biscuit is cooked through.
7) Top with your favorite toppings and serve with beans and rice on the side.
The great thing about this “buffet” idea is the fact that you are only cooking one thing, but because everyone gets to make their own, they feel satisfied and special. Plus, you are not prepping plates for your family either, as everyone makes their own!
I want to wish everyone a very happy back to school! I hope these recipes help make that transition just a little easier on the whole family. Bon Appetit!
Marissa is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom/military housewife who loves to cook, craft, plan events, and dress to impress…all while sticking to a budget and chasing after an active toddler!