From Our House to Yours
A menu of quick-to-the table themed lunches and easy side dishes helps simplify our homeschooling life! In this Heart of Dakota series, we continue describing a ‘day in the life’ of using Resurrection to Reformation (RTR) and World History (WH). First, I shared our take on homework. Second, I shared our waking up to homeschool routine. Third, I shared our morning chores and breakfast routine. Fourth, I shared how we rotate teacher-directed and independent blocks of time between breakfast and lunch. Today, I will share about how a planned menu of quick-to-the-table themed lunches and easy side dishes makes lunch a piece of cake!
Quick-to-the-Table Lunches That Follow a Theme
Through the past 17 years of homeschooling, I have found it is a huge help to have a set quick-to-the-table lunch menu. Some years I have had just 5 quick meal options planned, one for each day Monday through Friday. However, other years I have had a variety of quick-to-the-table meals. This year I planned a theme for each day with several quick-to-the-table meal options. As a result, I have some choice in what I make, but I also have a planned menu. For example, Mondays are chicken, Tuesdays are sandwiches, Thursdays are beef, and Fridays are (mainly) soups. On the other hand, Wednesdays are for whatever didn’t fit neatly into a theme. No matter what, each item on the lunch menu must be easy to make and quick-to-the-table.
Easy Side Dishes That Are the Same Each Day
I like variety for the main quick-to-the-table meals for lunch, but I feel just the opposite about side dishes. I find it simpler to keep the side dishes the same, offering just a few choices. Likewise, I make sure to choose quick and easy side dishes. So no matter what I make for the main meal for lunch, the daily side dishes stay pretty much the same. I put an “*” beside each easy side dish to show it is meant to be a part of the menu daily. If I do note a choice of easy side dishes, I put “or” between the two choices. In general, I try to choose quick-t0-the-table and easy side dishes that include fruits and vegetables. I also include healthy easy side dishes like yogurt and string cheese.
Benefits of Having a Set Lunch Menu
There are many benefits to having a set quick-to-the-table lunch menu. First, I know there will be a variety of balanced meals with different meats, fruits, and vegetables. Second, I know what to keep constant on my grocery list, so I can make the list quickly. Third, I can point to the menu when my children ask what is for lunch, but I can also give some main meal options. Fourth, my children can step in and make lunch themselves if need be. Fifth, I always have what I need on hand because some options are frozen or canned. Sixth, I cross off each main quick-to-the-table meal as I make it, so I know what we’re eating. Seventh, I can more easily plan my meals for dinner because I know what we’re having for lunch. Try planning your own quick-to-the-table lunch menu! See if you like it!
*yogurt parfait & granola or grapes
Ham/Cheese Poppy Buns
Cold Ham Sandwiches
*Cheese stick or dill pickles
*carrot sticks, hummus
|Mac & Cheese
All Beef Hot Dogs on Buns
*applesauce cups or banana halves
*carrot sticks, guac
*black beans or refried beans
|Tomato Basil Soup
* pears or mandarin oranges