Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Management: Simplified & Streamlined, Breakfast & Lunch

Just as a note, Rachel and I decided to switch to posting for this series on Mondays instead of Fridays.

Our project for last week was to focus on ways to streamline breakfast and lunch. Our family usually eats all three meals together each day, and especially at breakfast, it seems to take forever to get a hearty meal on the table and manage to eat and get on with the day in a timely manner. Most days, it's the same with lunch--rather than a quick, filling meal, we end up with a major interruption midday.

I certainly wasn't perfect in getting breakfast and lunch on the table quickly every day last week, but there were a few things I did that definitely worked well for us.

::Plan ahead. I do have a menu plan every week, but I never don't always follow it religiously. Knowing for sure the night before what we're having for breakfast and figuring out right after breakfast what we'll have for lunch helps tremendously.

::Prepare ahead. Baked oatmeal can be mixed up the night before and baked in the morning as can breakfast casserole. One night, I mixed up the dry ingredients for a batch of muffins and had the other ingredients ready to go and breakfast came together a lot quicker. Anything that can be done ahead of time (at a more convenient time!) helps. I also stashed some extra muffins in the freezer, which made for a nice quick breakfast--thaw them out over night, scramble some eggs, and serve it with some fruit for a nice, hearty breakfast in under 15 minutes.

::Plan for leftovers. I try to make enough dinner to eat leftovers for lunch several times each week. This is about as simple as it gets, and often provides me with a little more protein than typical lunchtime staples would.

::Have back-ups available. Yesterday, I figured that today we'd have enough leftovers to eat for lunch. I was wrong. So, we had oatmeal for lunch. Is it our favorite? No. But, it worked (I do grocery shopping Monday evenings, so we were out of several staples!). Keeping things on hand for a quick lunch of smoothies, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, a snack-y lunch, or other simple meals is a great way to get some healthy food in your kiddos midday without taking forever.

What do you all do to get meals on the table quicker?  Be sure to visit Rachel at Intentionally Simple to see how she's streamlining breakfast and lunch!

Week 10 Project:
This week, we're moving out of the kitchen and into the rest of the house. We'll begin by focusing on decluttering, since the less unnecessary stuff we have to clean, to easier cleaning is. I've got a big de-clutter project to get done before Joshua is born, so I'm going to try to get that done this week. We'll be back next week with an update and the next project!

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