You’ve got your portable stadium seat, gear in your local team’s colors, a thermos ready to fill with hot cocoa for the outdoor games, and cough drops for when you’ve cheered for just a bit too long – you’re ready for Fall sports season! Now, before you start running through the list of fast food joints nearby that you and your kids can run to before and between events, let’s talk about some other options. There are plenty of alternatives to the fast-food approach! This post covers three budget-friendly, healthy options that provide a slew of benefits for you and your kiddos.
First things first, don’t forget the magic of the slow cooker! Your family can enjoy home-cooked meals on their own time, between their games and practices. Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning before you go to work, then set it to be ready when the first people in your family will be getting home. They can grab a dish and go if they need (leave Tupperware and compostable silverware out for them!), or sit down for a quick bite. One tasty and easy option for a slow cooker meal on our September menu is the Maple Pork Tenderloin with Bountiful Baked Beans, which is also great for family members needing to get their protein fix before a game!
Of course, our athletes need to stay healthy and well-nourished, but so do the spectators! Prepare some spectator suppers so that the non-athletes and literal or figurative cheerleaders of the family can also have delicious meals to look forward to this season. Our September menu has Big Kahuna Burgers as well as Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed French Bread, both of which would be perfect spectator suppers.
If weeknights and weekday mornings leave no time for food prep of any kind, one plan of attack is to set aside some time to cook meals on Sunday, then package up the resulting meals to be eaten as leftovers for the week ahead. Again, this means that the family won’t have to rely on buying fast food or takeout, yet can still have quick meals whenever they need, and some options and variety to boot.
These ideas can all be done on an individual level for days when your family members’ schedules are all different or opposing. You can also use these approaches on nights when you have time (even if it’s limited) to sit down as a family. We encourage you to find those nights whenever you can, as family meals are highly beneficial for everyone. Not only do family meals cultivate a deeper family bond, they also create memories for everyone to cherish, to last a lifetime. These tips will be especially useful next month when we’re running the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge! It’s time to gear up and create a plan so that you and your family stay in peak mealtime performance, regardless of your
rival team hectic Fall schedule!