Daylight savings has come and gone, spring is upon us, and evening activities for kids are in full swing.  With so much daylight, sports practice and end-of-the-year events seem to be scheduled right during dinnertime.  What’s a mom to do?

Plan Ahead for each Weeknight Scenario

When you sit down to plan your meals for the week and make your grocery list, remember what activities are scheduled.  Do you have a late meeting at work?  Will you have some extra time one morning to prepare a casserole?  What evening activities do your children have planned?  Below are some ideas to help you out in those very situations.

Late Meeting at Work

The kids will already be home when you arrive, so you have no time to prep or cook, and food needs to be on the table.  This scenario calls for the slow cooker.   Life as Mom points out there are many reasons to love your crockpot, and she makes a the point that dinner is practically ready when you walk in the door.

Try this recipe from Eat at Home for Mediterranean Chicken for nights like these.

Extra Time in the Morning

One morning a week, your neighbor takes the kids to school and you have some extra time.  Extra time in the morning is rare, but you can use it to your advantage.  Take 20 minutes to prepare a casserole that you can throw in the oven when the kids get home.

Try this Manicotti Italian Casserole.  Prep time is 20 minutes and baking time is 20 minutes.  For multi-tasking household managers, 20 minutes is enough time to make a salad, steam zucchini, and start on some homework.

7:00 Baseball Practice

Scheduled right in the middle of dinner, spring sports practices can wreak havoc on your family’s schedule.  Hoosier Homemade shares her suggestion for baseball nights in a guest post on $5 Dinners for quick and easy Chicken Barbecue Sandwiches.  The recipe calls for four ingredients and a bun, which makes them both simple and portable.

What are your tricks for meal planning around your family’s busy schedule?

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