Dinner solutions for spring sports season
Spring sports season is here. Whether you are a soccer, softball, lacrosse, dance or other type of sports family, after-school sports almost always pose the same challenge: What to do about dinner. When your child doesn't get home until 4pm and either you or your spouse (or both!) don't get home til after 5, what do you do about dinner when you have to be on the field by 6? Seems impossible, but it's not. I am here to offer you a few solutions for those busy nights.
Put your slow cooker to work
This is my favourite way to handle any busy night. Why? Because you can throw something in in the morning before everyone heads out for the day, and then everyone can eat the same home-cooked meal even if they are eating at different times. The kids can eat after school and you and your spouse can eat later, after the game. And if your hungry athlete needs a top up after their game, it's ready to go for that, too. The food will stay hot and ready to be eaten whenever you need it.
Make it a picnic night
Let's say you have to head out right after work/school and there's no time to eat a meal at home. Most of us would be tempted to hit up the drive-thru (and let's be real, that's going to happen from time to time) but there's another way. Pack a picnic! The night before game night, make a couple of sandwiches or hearty salads, put some water bottles in the fridge, pack up some fruit and a treat for every member of the family. Your kids can eat theirs on the way to the game and you and/or your spouse (as well as any kids who aren't playing that night) can eat while you watch the game. If you have little ones who aren't playing, bring blanket and let them eat picnic style on the grass while the game is on.
Change up the dinner hour
If your kids are a bit older and won't necessarily be heading to bed after their game, you can change up your dinner plan to eat after the game instead of before. No one says dinner has to be at 5pm! To fuel your kiddos for their sports, however, it's a good idea to give them a healthy and substantial snack after school so they can have the energy to play and not get too hungry before a late dinner. After the game, have a simple dinner of sandwiches and some veggies and dip, or if you are feeling a bit more industrious, throw some burgers and dogs on the BBQ and serve with pasta salad you made the night before. This time of year, it's probably not dark after your games, so take the opportunity to enjoy the warm evenings and eat outside!