I don’t know how you feel, but for my family, summer has flown by! It’s hard to believe it’s time to start thinking about homework, schedules and packing lunches. If you are anything like us and are feeling a little apprehensive about the upcoming weeks, don’t stress because we’ve joined forces with our friends at Savvy Sassy Moms and Weelicious to help you with everything you need to send your kids back to school.
Over the next four weeks, we’ll be sharing our back to school must-haves, and the one-and-only Catherine McCord, from Weelicious, will be sharing her top recipes and tips to help you prepare meals for your kiddos that they’ll love.
Today, we’re kicking off week one with Catherine’s top five foods you should always have on hand to help you whip up a gourmet—and healthy—meal at a moment’s notice. They are listed below along with some of her go-to recipes.
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1. Pasta and Brown Rice. I keep these dry in the pantry so that I can cook it any day of the week. I also cook a bunch on the weekends so that I have them at the ready to mix into any manner of meals.
2. Nut and seed butters. Spread on pancakes, tortillas or crepes for a fun new twist on the traditional PB&J for school lunch. You can also make fun dips like this Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip.
3. Pesto. It adds tons of flavor to sandwiches and pasta, or use it as a dip for veggies. Basil Pesto is one of those things you might be surprised to learn that kids love! You can store it for weeks in the fridge, and my kids devour it no matter what I put it on.
4. Beans. Dried or canned, beans are a great vegetarian protein that can be mixed with brown rice, in breakfast burritos or served as a side dish with your favorite dinner.
Crock Pot Mexican Corn and Bean Soup
5. Bread and tortillas. Use tortillas instead of sandwich bread to breakaway from the typical sandwich for lunch. Wrap up your Caesar Salad to make dinner a hands-on dining experience to get kids more interested. A Chicken Caesar Wrap will be an unexpected surprise in your child’s lunchbox too!
Those are the five pantry staples Catherine always has on hand, but you, of course, want plenty of fruits, veggies, eggs, chicken and cheese too! You’ll find that these ingredients star in many of Catherine’s Weelicious Menus and cookbooks. You can even sign up for the Weelicious Menus monthly meal plan.
Don’t forget to label each container in your pantry to keep your shelves organized. Mabel’s Labels is one of our favorite go-to shops for keeping the kitchen organized.
Ready to start packing that lunch? Munchkin’s Click Lock Bento Mealbox set will help keep your school-goers lunch fresh and organized. It’s well thought out design helps keep the food in place so the portions don’t mix for on-the-go kids.
Recipes by Catherine McCord. Catherine posts new family-friendly recipes and videos every week on Weelicious. She is also creator of Weelicious Menus, a meal planning service that helps make dinner easier for busy families.
Next week: Catherine shares her secrets for making great leftovers.