• By Jessica DeGore
  • In Uncategorized
  • August 21, 2019

How to Make Family Meals Happen this School Year

By: Jennifer Pullman 

In the next week or two Pennsylvania students will head back to school.  The start of the school year also brings with it the start of after school activities. From sports practices to ballet classes kids and their parents will become busy bees once again.

Parents spend much of their time acting as their kids Uber drivers.  Family dinners fall to the wayside. According to the American College of Pediatricians a healthier eating pattern among children is just one of the many benefits of family meals.

Hectic schedules make families meals very difficult. Many families end up relying on take-out food and frozen meals.  Will a few simply tricks families meals can still fit into a busy schedule.

Plan Ahead

Before your grocery shopping trip pull out your calendar and see what lies ahead. Look for recipes that can be made on your lighter days and used for leftovers on your busy days. You can also designate quick cooking meals for your busy days as well.


When possible prep as much of your dinner recipe ahead of time. Cut up veggies. Prepare meats. Have as many of your ingredients ready to grab when you get home. I have even pulled out ingredients from the pantry that I need to use for a recipe and placed them on the kitchen counter ahead of time. By doing so I don’t have to waste time hunting for them when I’m trying to cook in a hurry.

Gift of gadgets: slow cookers and instant pots

There are a lot of nice kitchen appliances available to help you spend less time in front of your stove. Slow cookers allow you to cook your dinner during the day while you are at work and or running around with your kids and it’s done when you get home. Instant pots cut down cooking times tremendously and allow you to cook using frozen meat (if you forgot to defrost them ahead of time).

The Power of Leftovers

I know not everyone enjoys eating leftovers. My teenage son really dislikes leftover meals. Using leftovers though will tremendously help you get dinner on the table more often throughout the week, decrease the time you need to spend cooking, save money, and decrease waste. 

Check out these recipe collections perfect for back to school:

PA Bloggers Favorite Back to School Recipes

16 Easy Back-to-School Dinners for Busy Families

Back to School Lunches