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Daycare Menus, Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Ideas>Lunch/Dinner Schedule And Prep Time
LittleScholars 08:48 AM 08-09-2018
Not long ago, I would make one big meal in the morning (often with my instant pot) that I would serve for lunch and dinner. I don't mind leftovers and I loved the extra time it gave me. Now that I have an 18 month old, this no longer works . He will happily eat the meal ONCE a day, and eats a much bigger dinner than lunch. He also needs some encouragement to try new things and this works best during family meals.

Anyway, now I need to make a shift because cooking two elaborate meals is starting to kill me. Does anyone have a lunch and dinner menu they are willing to share? One of my struggles is that I've always enjoyed serving the daycare kids interesting selections and I have great eaters. I guess it is time to move to simple but interesting lunches. I'm finding myself making lots of things I'm not as excited about and aren't as healthy lately.

I'm afraid I'm going to start totally blowing my food budget (I already do) and wasting tons of food. All tips are super helpful! I'm sorry for so many questions in one post.
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Jiminycrickets 03:20 PM 08-09-2018
I like to do meals that have some ingredients I can use for both meals but aren't exactly the same thing, like I make extra baked chicken for lunch then we have chicken tacos for dinner with the leftovers. Or we have rice and beans for lunch, and extra rice goes with a stir-fry in the evening. If we do veggie slices or sticks for lunch or snack, extra for a salad that night.
I feel like having even just a few of the ingredients ready to go makes it feel way easier put together a healthier dinner instead of just throwing my hands up and sending my husband to get pizza.
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LittleScholars 07:49 AM 08-10-2018
Originally Posted by Jiminycrickets:
I like to do meals that have some ingredients I can use for both meals but aren't exactly the same thing, like I make extra baked chicken for lunch then we have chicken tacos for dinner with the leftovers. Or we have rice and beans for lunch, and extra rice goes with a stir-fry in the evening. If we do veggie slices or sticks for lunch or snack, extra for a salad that night.
I feel like having even just a few of the ingredients ready to go makes it feel way easier put together a healthier dinner instead of just throwing my hands up and sending my husband to get pizza.
Ohhh I LOVE this! Why hadn't I thought of this!? Thank you!
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hwichlaz 10:24 AM 08-12-2018
Flip it. Make the meal for dinner, and set aside some for lunch the next day. That way he’ll have a good night’s sleep and breakfast before he eats it again. I’d add a different side for lunch as well.
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LysesKids 11:16 AM 08-12-2018
Originally Posted by hwichlaz:
Flip it. Make the meal for dinner, and set aside some for lunch the next day. That way he’ll have a good night’s sleep and breakfast before he eats it again. I’d add a different side for lunch as well.
THIS...

I try & Grill on Sundays for at least 3 meals... that way I can just take the meat & use it in the recipe (or reheat as is). Today I'm doing fresh Salmon (Kroger had a great deal today & they added an extra $1 off coupon for me), chicken thighs & Turkey Kielbasa with corn on the cob and jacket potatoes in foil (stuck right in the coals). Add a few more sides and bread/rice & I easily have dinner today for me & a neighbor, lunch & dinner tomorrow & lunch Tuesday
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LittleScholars 10:03 AM 08-13-2018
Originally Posted by hwichlaz:
Flip it. Make the meal for dinner, and set aside some for lunch the next day. That way he’ll have a good night’s sleep and breakfast before he eats it again. I’d add a different side for lunch as well.
Another great idea I hadn't thought of!
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LittleScholars 10:06 AM 08-13-2018
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
THIS...

I try & Grill on Sundays for at least 3 meals... that way I can just take the meat & use it in the recipe (or reheat as is). Today I'm doing fresh Salmon (Kroger had a great deal today & they added an extra $1 off coupon for me), chicken thighs & Turkey Kielbasa with corn on the cob and jacket potatoes in foil (stuck right in the coals). Add a few more sides and bread/rice & I easily have dinner today for me & a neighbor, lunch & dinner tomorrow & lunch Tuesday
Do you find the salmon and chicken keep well? The kids will tolerate leftover meat, but my own family can't stand it (so spoiled). It might be my lazy reheat method (microwaving).
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LysesKids 01:26 PM 08-13-2018
Originally Posted by LittleScholars:
Do you find the salmon and chicken keep well? The kids will tolerate leftover meat, but my own family can't stand it (so spoiled). It might be my lazy reheat method (microwaving).
I don't own a Micro zapper lol... I cook everything stove, oven or crockpot if it's not on a grill; and yes, no issue keeping leftovers... I cook the salmon in portions, some of which I take off the grill 2 minutes early if it's being used the next day (like lunch today) that way when I need to re-heat/cook it, it isn't over done.

I never keep fish more than 24 hrs, the chicken never an issue up to 48 hrs. Last night I served some of the chicken & salmon with homemade peach BBQ sauce, grilled corn on the cob & slaw (I had a neighbor over for supper); tomorrow at lunch, it will be shredded chicken used in tacos. The grilled Salmon was reheated for lunch today and served with rice & veggies... the extra corn on the cob was reheated in foil & turned into Elote for snack today ( Mexican street corn with cheese & chili)
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ellen211 02:30 AM 08-16-2018
Originally Posted by Jiminycrickets:
I like to do meals that have some ingredients I can use for both meals but aren't exactly the same thing, like I make extra baked chicken for lunch then we have chicken tacos for dinner with the leftovers. Or we have rice and beans for lunch, and extra rice goes with a stir-fry in the evening. If we do veggie slices or sticks for lunch or snack, extra for a salad that night.
I feel like having even just a few of the ingredients ready to go makes it feel way easier put together a healthier dinner instead of just throwing my hands up and sending my husband to get pizza.
Wow! This is really a great idea! Never though of this. Thanks for sharing.
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LittleScholars 12:18 PM 08-20-2018
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
I don't own a Micro zapper lol... I cook everything stove, oven or crockpot if it's not on a grill; and yes, no issue keeping leftovers... I cook the salmon in portions, some of which I take off the grill 2 minutes early if it's being used the next day (like lunch today) that way when I need to re-heat/cook it, it isn't over done.

I never keep fish more than 24 hrs, the chicken never an issue up to 48 hrs. Last night I served some of the chicken & salmon with homemade peach BBQ sauce, grilled corn on the cob & slaw (I had a neighbor over for supper); tomorrow at lunch, it will be shredded chicken used in tacos. The grilled Salmon was reheated for lunch today and served with rice & veggies... the extra corn on the cob was reheated in foil & turned into Elote for snack today ( Mexican street corn with cheese & chili)
Brilliant! Thank you for sharing! Those are lucky kiddos! Your meals sound fantastic.
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Jo123ABC 12:55 PM 08-20-2018
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
THIS...

I try & Grill on Sundays for at least 3 meals... that way I can just take the meat & use it in the recipe (or reheat as is). Today I'm doing fresh Salmon (Kroger had a great deal today & they added an extra $1 off coupon for me), chicken thighs & Turkey Kielbasa with corn on the cob and jacket potatoes in foil (stuck right in the coals). Add a few more sides and bread/rice & I easily have dinner today for me & a neighbor, lunch & dinner tomorrow & lunch Tuesday
I usually try to do this too. Especially with chicken. On Sunday I will make grilled chicken for supper, extra for alfredo, quesadillas, etc. BUT I do feel like I don't get much of a weekend. I spend most of my Sunday meal prepping, cleaning, building next week's menu, printing statements, picking up groceries, etc. I'm lucky my husband helps me! He does the mopping, vacuuming, laundry, etc. He even watered my plants and tilled my garden this weekend. If I didn't have help I wouldn't even get 1 day to spend with my family doing fun things or relaxing. It's maddening! I wish I could switch to a 4 day week
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Tags:meal schedule, parenting styles, providers own child
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