We always start the day off with so much hope and excitement. Today will be the day we’re the Pinterest moms! We’ll make cute sandwiches cut into adorable shapes and snacks that will make our children shout with glee!
But let’s get real. By 9 am, that whole plan falls to the wayside and we actually start to seriously dread the thought of how we’re going to get everything done, AND feed our kids good food without slaving away in the kitchen all day.
So in an effort to save all of our sanity and provide our kids with something delicious and healthful, we’ve come up with a few strategies for making kids’ meals less work and something you can enjoy again.
1. Prepare what you can the night before.
Take some time at night, while you’re already in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner, to prep a few things for lunches and snacks for the following day. You’ll thank yourself the next morning when your kids are suddenly ravenous.
2. Keep it simple.
Don’t overthink it, your child is not a world-renowned restaurant critic. They like what they know. Make the foods they like to eat, not what you eat or what you want them to eat. In fact, we like to involve our kids in the process. We’ll talk about the kinds of things they like to eat in a day, so when it’s time to grab something from the fridge, it’s already chopped or sliced and ready to go.
3. Think outside the box.
Yes, sandwiches are an easy way to go. But sometimes we like to switch things up, and we feel our kids appreciate this.
One of our favourites are these simple and delicious Four Ingredient Cheesy Zucchini Bites. They’ve got cheese, eggs, zucchini, and breadcrumbs, so they’re a complete meal all in one little and very tasty package. They can be made ahead of time and stored in your freezer so you can have lunch (or snacks) ready in a flash.
Four-Ingredient Cheesy Zucchini Bites
Makes 16-28 Bites
5 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium or 4 small zucchini)
1 tsp salt
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1.5 cups grated old cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine zucchini and salt in a medium bowl and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Strain any excess water and transfer zucchini to the center of a clean dish towel. Wrap the zucchini and twist the towel to squeeze as much excess water from the zucchini as possible.
2. Transfer zucchini back to bowl and add panko, egg, and cheese. Mix to combine and shape mixture into 2 inch round disks and place on baking sheet.
3. Bake for 22-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.