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In the past month our weekly schedule has changed a lot. For the first time, our son is playing a team sport which means there are practices and games to attend. Then he joined Cub Scouts. This added Pack and Den meetings to our calendar as well. Some weeks, it’s 4 days a week between the 2 commitments. Not to mention, school and other periodic fun things we do as a family. My biggest challenge? Getting us all out of the house on time to get where we need to be. Here are my tips …
It may seem like the most obvious thing, but keep a calendar visible for the entire family to see when events and special commitments are happening. My husband and I share some using the calendar app on our phones and I have a physical planner I use, but our main family calendar is on our fridge. Here I keep a dry erase calendar that covers everything – practices, games, meetings, family visits, upcoming birthdays, his work travel schedule, etc.
Along with keeping our calendar current, having a meal plan for the week is crucial for us. The simple act of writing down our weekly meals saves time in the evenings by taking the mystery out of what ingredients we have on hand and what needs to be fixed; helps to make sure I’m feeding our family healthy, well rounded meals; and that the meals are timed right so we aren’t eating too late.
Most nights I rely on recipes and make our meals from start to finish. Other nights, I’m grateful to have a little help. We recently discovered Kidfresh meals while shopping at Target. My son was excited by the fun sounding names: Mighty Meaty Chicken Meatballs, Wagon Wheels Mac + Cheese, and Muy Cheesy Quesadillas.
As a mom, I was excited to find a product that would be quick & easy to fix on our busy nights, but also healthy and tasty. My son has always been great at eating his vegetables. His younger sister? Not so much. We’re still working on this with her. Kidfresh meals have up to up to ½ cup of hidden vegetables in every meal making it easy for me to get her to eat some veggies too. Even if she thinks she’s *just* having mac + cheese.
Target is offering 40% off any Kidfresh Meal through 9/24/16 on Cartwheel
I feel confident letting my kids enjoy the Kidsfresh meals and sides knowing they are best in class in protein content and offer key nutrients for growing children, as well as moderate in fat and sodium. They also truly taste great! My husband & I also ate some of the Mighty Meaty Chicken Meatballs and Wagon Wheels Mac + Cheese. We both agreed the meatballs were better than others we’ve tried in the past.
Prep the Day Before
All of our various practices, games, and meetings are typically on set days each week. I check our calendar daily to verify what’s next and then double check that bags are packed and lined up by the door ready to go when we are.
Sometimes I pre-load the car especially if I know we need a big item such as our jogging stroller the next day. I also keep a few basics like diapers & wipes in the car at all times so I don’t have to completely refill the diaper bag every time we head out. These little details save me time and stress as we’re trying to get out of the door.
Don’t plan to do everything yourself. Soccer and Cub Scouts are my son’s commitments as much as ours. He’s 7 and plenty old enough to do some of the basics. On soccer days, he’s responsible for filling his own water bottle as well as carrying his small cinch bag with his gear.
Keeping up with his water bottle, ball, shin guards & cleats may be small items, but they are a few less items I need to remember. And, doing so is helping to teach him some responsibility as well. Win win.
What’s your best tip for getting your family out the door on time?