Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dairy Free Meal Planning For a Busy Family

We have such a busy life these days. Much busier than ever before, as do most parents with school aged children. Our oldest is in sports and has either a game or practice 3 days a week, takes a drama class one night a week, and is in Brownies.

Our middle daughter is in preschool and takes a drama class.

Sam as a Blowfish last year in their winter show.

And being a Stay-AtHome-Mom by choice, I have also chosen to be involved in my kids activities so I am the Team Mom for her soccer team this season and her Brownie Leader. As for the middle one, I volunteer in the Art room throughout the year, help with class parties, and volunteer for other various classroom activities throughout the year. I will also volunteer to help with their performances when the time comes. At this point the Littlest One just tags along when she can, but soon enough she will also be in activities.

On top of all of that we also home school/online charter school the oldest one, the middle one will start next year as well.

So is this point of all of this to brag- absolutely not. The point is that, like every other mother of multiple kids in activities I am BUSY. But around all those activities I still have to find time to clean (I'm a closet neat freak and can't stand a dirty house, although some days you'd never know!) and do daily chores around the house, keep up with the laundry for 5 people (which I am not very good at), and most importantly, feed my family healthy, dairy free meals.

An example of some of the craziness: here is what tomorrow night is looking like for us:

Middle daughter's Open House from 5-6pm
Oldest daughter's soccer game at 5:45-6:45
Girl Scout Service Unit meeting at 7pm.

When in there are we supposed to eat dinner? If we eat at 4, everyone will be hungry by 7, if we wait to eat after my meeting, that interferes with the baby's bedtime. So I am going to have to have something ready for after soccer, while I am at my meeting, and I will eat when I get home. This is how a couple days in the week often go lately. Now, we could just eat fast food or out somewhere but 1.)we aren't a fast food family, and 2.) eating out with a dairy issue isn't easy. So weekly menus are a must and take a lot of thought and planning in our house. I know I am not alone in this, and there are a lot of other Moms out there either with food allergies/intolerance or with kids with food allergies asking the same questions every week so I thought I would add a weekly (or Bi-weekly) meal planning post to my blog that will include easy to make/make ahead meals for a busy family.

Since this week is almost over, it will be a short one. But here's the plan:

Overnight oats: I mix them up after I clean up the dinner dishes. Saves time both at night and the next morning. Next week we'll do more slow cooker oats too.

Morning Snack:
Smoothies for myself, and the two girls at home.

Middle One: takes a sandwich, applesauce or goldfish, and a juice to preschool.
Big One: PB&J, goldfish, yogurt, and a drink
Little One: She's on a scrambled egg kick lately so she'll probably have that and fruit or veggie.
Me:Hummus with veggies and pita bread, or an open face avocado sandwich with veggies.
Husband: He takes the leftovers to work.

Monday: We had Vegetable Fried Noodles
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (Leftovers are in the freezer for another night next week)
Wednesday: Meatless Black Bean Enchiladas
Thursday: Easy Italian Chicken - I'll start it on the stove and move it to the slow cooker so the family can eat after soccer and before I get home.
Friday: Pizza Night.

I also want to show you all that yes, I do actually make the recipes I post. These aren't one timers, the meals that make the cut are ones that have been kid tested and husband approved for the blog (It's a family affair).

Saturday we'll all sit down and plan out the next 2 weeks for meals- all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for 14 days. Not my most favorite thing to do, but a definite necessity. The menu will then go on the fridge for the week. (Except this week because I forgot-oops!)
What do you do for dinner on super busy nights?


  1. You should brag all you want! Busy mama with really cute kiddies!! :) I wish I had the discipline to meal plan!

  2. Thanks! They are kinda cute;-) I have a secret- I am not always great about planning. But Shhh... don't tell anyone. We try really hard but there are days we let it slide. And we suffer on those days. I've learned that I have to plan, especially since ALL their activities are at dinnertime! Ugh. I am hoping that by posting a planning post every week, that will help me out too!

  3. yay!! so excited to come across your blog! My daughter is 13months old and possibly facing a dairy allergy, SO for the next month we are experimenting with a dairy free diet in our household. Can't wait to try some of your recipes. Look forward to more to come!!!

    1. I hope you have found something you like! If not, please feel free to email me and I will be more than happy to share more recipes with you!