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  #1  
Old 03-23-2019, 07:03 PM
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ardeur ardeur is offline
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Default Make-Ahead Meals or Sides?

What can be made on the weekend and stored in the fridge to reheat in the microwave or toaster oven during the week?

I tried doing freezer meals for my daycare kiddos. I gave up after a month or so because they refuse to eat anything that's mixed together -- casseroles, bakes, lasagnas, 1-pot meals, etc. They all prefer their food items separate and distinct on their plate. :-( Especially 3yo+.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:39 AM
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Here are some previous threads on prepared beforehand meals: https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.p...red+beforehand
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:44 AM
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I donít have complete meals that I prepare ahead and freeze, but I do sometimes cook large packages of ground beef and chicken breasts, then freeze them in meal-size portions. It saves a lot of time when making spaghetti, tacos, etc.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeur View Post
They all prefer their food items separate and distinct on their plate. :-( Especially 3yo+.
I do not cook anything ahead and do not use pre-cooked frozen food. But I got tired that kids want to have all their food items separated on their plates. So I stopped using section plates. Very soon after that, the problem disappears.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:48 AM
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Right now my kids are into chicken noodle soup, meatloaf, spaghetti and tortillini. I make a huge batch of chicken noodle soup from my weekend chicken dinner and freeze. For the meatloaf I cook rice and mixed veggies, throw it all together in a loaf pan and bake. Then I freeze it in meal time portions. Same with spaghetti. Tortillini is pretty easy as it is premade pasta I buy at the store. I portion it and freeze that also then throw in some veggies like cooked broccoli or cauliflower.

I personally do not like freezing cooked chicken and fish and a lot of veggies do not freeze well unless part of a meal. If you buy frozen veggies then thaw before mealtime it works really well! I buy bags if broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn etc. So convenient and fresh.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:22 AM
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I cook all my family meals in giant batches and reheat the next day for daycare. I don't meal prep on the weekends for the most part as that is my family time. My daycare is in my basement and the kitchen is upstairs. This week we have home made pizza, stroganoff, lasagna, pesto chicken and quesadillas for our main lunch items. Next week is roast turkey, pot pie, chicken mac and cheese with broccoli, pasta salad and home made tilapia sticks on Friday. I add steamer veggies or fresh veggies, and fruit.

Breakfasts I make and freeze waffles, frech toast, pancakes, egg cupcakes or we have cereal.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:37 PM
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I make pans of stuffed shells. They are stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach, and mashed up cauliflower. I then put a meat sauce over the top of them.

Enchiladas are another favorite.

Meatloaf is another thing that I make many of.

Stuffed cabbage rolls.

Penne pasta with cut up chicken and Alfredo sauce over it.

These are all meals that I make for my family. When I make, for instance the enchiladas, I will make four pans. One of them we will have for dinner and the other three I throw in the freezer. I do the same with all of the meals mentioned above. I fear the daycare kids these meals, and I also have extra in the fridge for us.

I bought aluminum pans that are disposable. And put them in the jumbo Ziploc bags. On the outside of the bags I write whatís inside and how long to cook it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:30 PM
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I do mainly separate foods, and I prep a lot of it at night.

I chop cold vegies and have them in containers ready to go for lunch. I have cooked dry beans also ready to go. I make whole wheat bread rolls (easy and I've never had a kid not love them. Also not very messy.)

I also make "hand pancakes" which are small pancakes with some extra sugar in them so the kids don't miss the syrup.

I also keep tortillas on hand so it's easy to make warm tortilla roll ups.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post

I make whole wheat bread rolls (easy and I've never had a kid not love them. Also not very messy.)

Would you mind sharing your recipe for rolls? They are something I struggle with making no matter how many times I try.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:28 PM
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Sure.

1 1/2 tsp yeast
3/4. Tsp salt
3. Tbsp sugar
3 C. Whole wheat flour. *. Can substitute 1-2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten for 1-2 tbsp flour, depends on your altitude if you need it or not. I just put a spoon of gluten in the bottom of the measure and then fill to the top.
1/4. C. Oil
5/8. C. Water
2 eggs

Dough cycle in bread machine
Cut into 12 parts, doesn't have to be pretty, blob of oil on cookie sheet and spread around with roll dough
Raise for 35 min. (I heat oven for one min and raise in there)
Heat oven to 375 F, cook 12 mins or whatever works for you.

The original recipe is for white flour and calls for 1/2. Cup water, but for whole grains, you will need more water. After it has mixed a few mins, I feel the dough. The right hydration makes the bread the right fluffiness. If you make it often enough, you will get used to feeling the dough and what the right hydration feels like.

For very little kids, I break the rolls into small pieces and give them cheese cubes or beans.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
Sure.

1 1/2 tsp yeast
3/4. Tsp salt
3. Tbsp sugar
3 C. Whole wheat flour. *. Can substitute 1-2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten for 1-2 tbsp flour, depends on your altitude if you need it or not. I just put a spoon of gluten in the bottom of the measure and then fill to the top.
1/4. C. Oil
5/8. C. Water
2 eggs

Dough cycle in bread machine
Cut into 12 parts, doesn't have to be pretty, blob of oil on cookie sheet and spread around with roll dough
Raise for 35 min. (I heat oven for one min and raise in there)
Heat oven to 375 F, cook 12 mins or whatever works for you.

The original recipe is for white flour and calls for 1/2. Cup water, but for whole grains, you will need more water. After it has mixed a few mins, I feel the dough. The right hydration makes the bread the right fluffiness. If you make it often enough, you will get used to feeling the dough and what the right hydration feels like.

For very little kids, I break the rolls into small pieces and give them cheese cubes or beans.
Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleExplorers View Post
Thanks!
If it doesn't work out, I would be happy to troubleshoot.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2019, 06:40 AM
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After years of cooking and throwing out food.Not because it tasted bad but mixed up /or "yucky vegetables."I found easy healthy meals.Two days sandwiches/turkey on wheat side of carrot/celery sticks an applesauce---Grilled cheese prepared in fridge on cookie sheet at lunch put in oven broil turn broil done.added tomatoes/raw green beans with dip /fresh fruit.Iloved the divided dishes some liked pasta no sauce served wheat pasta ,turkey meatballs in sauce extra sauce on side.I did use small frozen meatballs ,cooked pasta ahead of time.I went with just a few choices the kids seemed to like knowing Monday was grilled cheese ,Friday turkey ect sides might change but main component stayed the same.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
If it doesn't work out, I would be happy to troubleshoot.

Awesome! I make bread, pizza dough etc, but rolls never turn out for me. Not sure what it is. Though I can also make just about any food and love to cook, but I can't make a fried egg right to save my life
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