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Old 03-27-2012, 08:59 AM   #1  
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Default Having a kid in sports makes is hard to stick to cooking dinner and meal planning....

So spring baseball season is about to kick off and my son has had practice 4 nights a week and saturdays. I don't think its gonna change from that. Opening game is this saturday.

Anyway, this makes it SO difficult to cook dinner at night. I get off work about 4:30PM, pick him up and games/practice start at 6PM but we have to be there by 5:30 so the team can warm up. Thats just enought time for me to get home, go potty and change out of my monkey suit (i.e. work attire LOL). Well, we usually get out of there at 7:30-8 and thats WAY too late for me to be cooking dinner for us.

Sure, I could prepare some things in advance, but they would be frozen and we would still be waiting the 30-40 minutes for something pre-prepared to cook in the oven.

Any ideas to work through this without having to eat out after every practice/game and without having to go through prep and cooking at 8PM?
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #2  
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Microwave will have things hot and on the table in a few minutes.Warm weather is also a good time for salads, greens can be washed and put in containers in the fridge , takes a couple of minutes to toss it. Potato or macaroni salads can be prepared ahead of time. Fruit can be washed and ready ahead of time.

Last edited by bargoo; 03-27-2012 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #3  
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Your crockpot is your friend. Throw a meal together in the morning and come home to it done.

Or, on non-practice days, you can prepare 3-4 meals, portioned into individual servings, so everyone can microwave their own in 3 minutes when you get home after work.

Or, the night before or in the morning, make up a big salad containing protein, and grab a portion from the fridge to take with you while you watch the game.

Grab a rotisserie chicken, a premade salad, and a low calorie dressing on the way home from baseball. Throw them together for the next night's meal. Add a baguette for the rest of the family.

Don't be afraid to go with frozen meals or a sandwich (heavy on the veggies) or can of soup once in a while.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #4  
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Slow cooker! Get it all ready in the morning and it's ready to eat when you get home. I love mine and use it a lot. There are a million crockpot recipes on the Internet.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #5  
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Rotisserie chicken is a great idea. You can make sandwiches, salads & use the left overs for croquettes for the weekend.

I just combine the shredded chicken with a small mashed potato (for binding), green onions diced finely, cilantro, salt & pepper. Make them into balls and freeze them. I take them out as needed and bread them & fry/bake them.

You can also use the left over carcess to make a yummy soup or even broth.

Another idea is to use stuff that cooks really fast. You can toss some scallops in a marinade before you leave the house, and all it takes it a quick sear on both sides (< 3 minutes depending on size) and eat it with a large salad. A thin fish fillet like sole or tilapia also just required a quick sear for it to be cooked.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #6  
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I deal with this year round, soccer is from aug 1 to mid April, baseball is end march to aug 1. I have two kids, different teams and schedules, so I have to plan ahead. Last year I did not and gained 10 pounds. Now I bring bag salad kits with me, mix them in a bowl in the car. Roll up some lunchmeat to add protein. Enjoy my salad on the sidelines, sitting in my lawn chair. Days off I cook extra to be reheated in microwave quickly. Kids might eat sandwiches and pretzels or soup/bread, fruit, Mac and cheese. I definitely think it out ahead. You are right it is a pain at times, but I've worked too hard on my weight loss to let it sabotage my efforts this year.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #7  
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Get out the crockpot and read up on recipes - truly it is your friend. Make HUGe portions and have it ready to heat up as you need it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:55 AM   #8  
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CROCKPOT fan here too....Also, this is a great time to try sandwiches, fruits and salads (you can mix them in the car)
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #9  
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Another one for crockpot.

My pattern was to load up before bed, portion out and fridge, then come home and reheat.

Could also talk to the other parents and ask how they handle it and what recipes they like.

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Old 03-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #10  
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Are there any other parents you can carpool with ? Back in the days we had 2 kids in soccer practice, carpooling a couple of days a week was such a huge help. That way dinner would be ready when they got home and I also got some time to myself.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #11  
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Crockpot is a great idea! Also a fan of salads.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:54 PM   #12  
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Originally Posted by Only Me View Post
Or, on non-practice days, you can prepare 3-4 meals, portioned into individual servings, so everyone can microwave their own in 3 minutes when you get home after work.
This has been my lifesaver. I keep homemade chicken/veggie nuggets and turkey/veggie meatballs frozen at all times. I always have a jar of tomato sauce on hand in the fridge. Boiling some pasta or frozen tortellini would be easy. I do always have portioned out frozen meals, though.

-Freeze individual containers of chili and just chop scallions/cilantro, shred some cheese, and have sour cream and jalapenos on hand for a ten minute meal.
-Freeze soup in small containers
-Burritos can be pre-made and frozen to be reheated.
-Quesadillas take no time at all if you chop up your veggies and keep them in the fridge and use bottled salsa
-Loaded "baked" potatoes which can microwaved in about four minutes while you roast some broccoli for 15 minutes
-A pre-made pizza crust can be topped with veggies and baked in 15 minutes
-Stir fry is quick if your veggies are sliced and you use minute rice.

Last edited by Munchy; 03-27-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:32 PM   #13  
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I agree with the crockpot suggestions.

You could also prepare meals in the morning or the night before if time allows.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #14  
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I absolutely agree with all of the excellent prep recommendations that have been suggested. I do many of them.

I think the main challenge, however, is that you have to decide to do it.

Almost everyone I know is in the same boat you're in with scheduling, it just takes commitment to make it happen. There will be weeks when it isn't a big deal for you to prepare ahead of time, and weeks when it will be an unbelievably difficult task.

Like everything else in this weight loss journey we're on - it starts with our brains.

Do it for yourself and your family. You can do it!
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:09 PM   #15  
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I hate having to eat after 7:00 at night. If the concept of YOU eating so late is part of the problem (I guess the kids won't want to eat while playing or practicing) maybe you could get a group of other parents and designate one night a week as "tailgate" night with everyone bringing a dish to share for the adults and siblings who aren't playing. A weekly picnic might break the monotony and perhaps the kids who are playing can eat at the ball field before going home.

I also agree that you have to plan and prep ahead. Monday night is the prep night for Tuesday's meal, etc. instead of trying to fix tonight's meal tonight when time is short.

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