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Fun Summer Meal Ideas for Working Mom and Kids


working mom and daughter

As summer approaches, mompreneurs and work from home moms around the globe brace themselves for the delightful yet daunting task of juggling work, kids, and meals. With the kids at home all day, it’s essential to plan meals that are not only nutritious and quick to prepare but also capable of winning over the pickiest of eaters. Here are some summer meal ideas for momprenuers and kids designed to keep everyone healthy, happy, and satisfied, giving you more time to focus on your work and business from the comfort of your home.


Mason Jar Salads

Start your week by preparing a variety of mason jar salads. Layering is key: dressing at the bottom, followed by heavier items like beans or chicken, and leafy greens at the top. Seal them up and store in the fridge. Come lunchtime, shake, and serve. This not only provides a quick, healthy meal for you but also a fun shake-and-eat activity for the kids.


salad mason jar
salad mason jar

Mason Jar Salad: Southwest Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing

- 1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

- 1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen)

- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes

- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

- 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, diced

- 1 cup mixed greens

- 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped

- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

1. At the bottom of a mason jar, pour the ranch dressing.

2. Layer the black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, and then the chicken on top of the dressing.

3. Finish with a layer of mixed greens, green onions, and cilantro.

4. Seal the jar and refrigerate until ready to eat. Shake well before eating.


Smoothie Packs

Smoothies are a hit with kids and adults alike. Prepare ziplock bags with a mix of fruits, vegetables, and add-ins like flaxseed or oats. Freeze them, and when it's smoothie time, pop the contents into a blender, add your liquid of choice, and blend. It’s a fantastic way to sneak in some vegetables and keep everyone cool and nourished.


frozen smoothie


Smoothie Packs: Berry Spinach Smoothie Pack

Ingredients:

- 1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

- 1/2 banana, sliced

- 1 cup spinach leaves

- 1 tablespoon chia seeds

- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions:

1. In a ziplock bag, combine mixed berries, banana slices, spinach, and chia seeds. Freeze until needed.

2. To prepare the smoothie, pour the contents of one smoothie pack into a blender.

3. Add 1 cup of water, milk, or almond milk, and Greek yogurt if using.

4. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.



DIY Sandwich Station

Set up a sandwich station in your kitchen with various bread, deli meats, cheeses, veggies, and spreads. Encourage your kids to make their own sandwiches for lunch. This not only fosters independence but also gives you extra time to focus on work tasks.



Make a sandwich


DIY Sandwich Station

Suggested Ingredients:

- Assorted bread (whole wheat, rye, pita)

- Deli meats (turkey, ham, roast beef)

- Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, provolone)

- Veggies (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bell peppers)

- Spreads (mayonnaise, mustard, hummus, avocado spread)

Instructions:

1. Lay out all the ingredients on the counter or table.

2. Encourage each family member to assemble their own sandwich according to their preferences.

3. Serve with a side of fruit or chips for a complete meal.


Crockpot Magic

Never underestimate the power of a crockpot. Start your day by throwing ingredients into the crockpot for dishes like chili, stew, or chicken tacos. By dinner time, you'll have a meal ready to serve with minimal effort. This allows you to spend less time cooking and more time engaging with your children or focusing on your business.


chicken tacos

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:

- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

- 1 cup salsa

- 1 packet taco seasoning

- 1/2 cup chopped onion

Instructions:

1. Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot.

2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken.

3. Add the salsa and onion on top.

4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

5. Shred the chicken with two forks and serve with taco shells, cheese, lettuce, and other favorite toppings.


Picnic Dinners

Shake up the routine with picnic dinners. Prepare a simple meal like pasta salad, finger sandwiches, and fruit, and lay a blanket in the backyard. This not only gives the kids something to look forward to but also minimizes cleanup for you.


pasta salad


Pasta Salad for Picnic Dinner

Ingredients:

- 8 oz pasta (bowtie, penne, or rotini)

- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

- 1/2 cup cucumbers, diced

- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

- 1/2 cup olives, sliced

- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

- 1/4 cup Italian dressing

- Salt and pepper to taste

- Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)


Instructions:

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and rinse under cold water.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, and feta cheese.

3. Pour the Italian dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well coated.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.

5. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Frozen Yogurt Bites

Looking for a healthy snack or dessert? Mix Greek yogurt with honey, fresh fruit, or granola, and spoon into ice cube trays. Freeze and enjoy delicious frozen yogurt bites. It's a great way to cool down and get a dose of probiotics.


frozen yogurt bites

Frozen Yogurt Bites

Ingredients:

- 2 cups Greek yogurt

- 2 tablespoons honey

- 1/2 cup mixed berries (chopped if large)

- 1/4 cup granola


Instructions:

1. In a bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with honey.

2. Spoon a small amount of the yogurt mixture into each ice cube tray compartment or a cookie sheet.

3. Top with mixed berries and a sprinkle of granola.

4. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid.

5. Pop out of the tray or break a part from cookie sheet and enjoy as a refreshing snack or dessert.


Batch Cooking

Dedicate a few hours over the weekend to batch cook and freeze meals. Dishes like lasagna, meatballs, and soups freeze well and can be a lifesaver on hectic days. Perfect for summer meal ideas for working moms and kids.


how to prepare lasagna


Batch Cooking: Classic Lasagna

Ingredients:

- 2 lb ground beef

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 garlic cloves, minced

- 24 oz jar of marinara sauce

- 15 oz ricotta cheese

- 1 egg

- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions

- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

- Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the meat is browned. Drain excess fat.

3. Stir in the marinara sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. In a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and salt and pepper.

5. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.

6. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles, followed by one-third of the ricotta mixture, one-third of the mozzarella cheese, and one-third of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers twice more.

7. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

9. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This helps the layers set and makes serving easier.


Freezing Instructions:

- Let the lasagna cool completely after baking.

- Cover it tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

- Label with the date and freeze.

- To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven until heated through (about 30-40 minutes).


Interactive Meals

Involve your kids in meal preparation by opting for interactive meals like build-your-own pizza or taco night. It’s a fun activity that doubles as dinner and keeps the kids occupied while you wrap up your workday.


make a pizza with kids

Interactive Meal: Build-Your-Own Pizza Night

Ingredients:

- Pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)

- Marinara sauce

- Mozzarella cheese, shredded

- Various toppings: pepperoni, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, olives, cooked sausage, pineapple chunks, etc.

- Olive oil, for brushing

- Optional: crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning


Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.

2. Divide the pizza dough into individual portions. On a lightly floured surface, let everyone roll out or stretch their piece into a small pizza shape.

3. Brush each pizza lightly with olive oil, then spread a thin layer of marinara sauce, leaving a small border around the edges.

4. Let everyone top their pizzas with mozzarella cheese and their choice of toppings.

5. Carefully transfer the pizzas to the preheated pizza stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

7. Allow the pizzas to cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing and serving. This interactive meal not only feeds the family but also creates a fun activity that everyone can enjoy together.


Summer Meal Ideas for Working Mom and Kids

Balancing entrepreneurship with motherhood is no small feat, especially during the summer months. However, with a little creativity and planning, mealtime can become an enjoyable and stress-free part of your day. These ideas not only ensure that your family is well-fed but also allow you to focus on growing your business without sacrificing precious family time. Remember, the key is in preparation and finding fun, engaging ways to involve the whole family in the meal process.

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