Haute lunch at home: High quality homeschool meals on a budget

Lori St. Kitts By Lori St. Kitts, 7th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

With a little forethought and preparation, meal times can be an effortless, educational, delicious and healthy part of your homeschool day together.

Haute lunch at home: High quality homeschool meals on a budget

There seems to be a misconception by some non-homeschooling people that are not familiar with homeschooling that all homeschoolers live a slow-paced, laid-back lifestyle, completely free from a hectic schedule. Although that may be in part true for many who strive to keep their children out of the public and private school “rat race”, it does not mean that homeschooling families lounge around the house either. Au contraire mon frère or ma sœur, we have a variety of activities that keep us busy throughout the day. Regardless of what style of home education you provide for your child be it Classical, Eclectic, Unschooling or something in between, you know that a day can consist of field trips, homeschool group gatherings, trips to the library, students getting lost in their projects, study time, playtime or a plethora of other busy activities. Therefore we and our students must be fueled properly at all times. Of course, quite often this means a quick PB&J sandwich, fast food or a mélange of snack food quickly grabbed from the cupboards. Oh, but this does not have to be! With a little forethought and preparation, meal times can be an effortless, educational, delicious and healthy part of your homeschool day together.

1. Prepare a weekly meal plan. As homeschooling guides we know well that planning is a crucial part of a successful day.

2. Balance your meals. As home educators, we have given ourselves the luxury and responsibility of providing our students with meals that they will not get in an institution. Make sure to balance your meals so that your student receives good food that helps, not hinders, their concentration. Provide a lot of vegetables, a protein and one carbohydrate at each meal. Avoid sugar and caffeine whenever possible.

3. Shop once a week. If possible, try to get all of your shopping for your meal plan done once during the week. Of course some fresher ingredients, like fish, for example really should be prepared the day you buy it and there are Farmers Market days that make for a great field trip. Take the kids along for an Home Economics study about budgeting, quality and price vs. quality.

4. Pre-prepare your ingredients. Cooking is a much quicker, cleaner and enjoyable venture when you or the sous chefs (your children) have already prepared the ingredients. This means to pre-cut and, if applicable, pre-cook your vegetables and even your pasta and potatoes until just nearly done.

5. Prep and freeze meals for extra busy days. When you know that there are especially busy days in your future, plan ahead for them by making and freezing your meals ahead of time.

Homeschool lunch ideas

• Leftovers from dinner can be pre-portioned in individual containers ready to heat, if necessary, and serve.
Bento boxes
• Smorgasbord
• Bruschetta
• Wraps
• Pizza – homemade (let the bread machine do most of the work)
• Soup
• Hearty salads
Muffin Tin Monday
Stuffed, baked potato
• Sushi and California rolls
• Favorite leftovers
• Chicken nachos (more protein and vegetables, less cheese)
• Pasta tossed with a variety of sauces or pesto, fresh basil and your child's favorite veggies and protein
• Sliced vegetables, dressing and whole grain crackers
• Fruit salad
• Yogurt
• Iced herbal tea

Tips

• Use what you learn in the kitchen. Kids can learn more than just cooking and math in the kitchen. Food anthropology can also be a great platform for your meal plan.
• Learn about a culture and then cook a meal from that culture.
• Learn about a time period and then cook a meal from that time period.
• Learn about a style of eating (vegetarian, vegan, Neanderthal) and then cook a meal.
• The library has a great selection of cookbooks to peruse.

Tags

Food, Homeschool, Homeschooling, Lunchtime, Sahm

Meet the author

author avatar Lori St. Kitts
Lori is an entrepreneur, aspiring anthropologist, traveler, homemaker and foodphile. She feels passionately that living and eating well is a right, not a privilege regardless of income or location.

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