Back to school season is a busy time. Let us help you plan the week with this Easy Back To School Meal Plan. Be sure to grab the free printable! The 2023 Back To School Campaign has raised $16,000 for the Foundation For Fresh Produce to support children’s accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables thanks to our amazing partners, like Pero Family Farms.
It’s back to school time and this can be a stressful transition from the easy breezy days of summer. One thing that you can do to make the transition back to school and routines easier is to have a meal plan.
Having a meal plan of the food that you will be serving for breakfast, lunch, and dinner means that you don’t have to spend time thinking about what you are going to have. Having a meal plan can also help you to save time and money at the grocery store since you know exactly what items you need to have on hand for a week’s worth of meals.
Within this post, you will find a meal plan that includes a selection of five breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to help you get this school year off to an easy and flavorful start! This back to school meal plan is perfect for the first week of school or for any week!
We know that getting ready for back to school isn’t just about meal planning, it’s about so much more! Check out these Back To School Routine Tips to help make sure that first week goes off smoothly.
Here are some meal planning tips to use that make getting healthy meals on the table easier for you during this busy time.
Choose Your Meals
Sit down and write out what meals you plan to make for the week. When possible choose meals with overlapping ingredients so that you can reduce prep time. If you are trying to minimize your grocery budget check to see what might be on sale and then choose your meals. Once you have your meal plan ready it’s time to write out your grocery list.
We simplified this step for you, just print this Easy Back To School Meal Plan.
Back To School Breakfast Recipes
- Sheet Pan Mini Sweet Peppers and Eggs
- Broccoli Frittata Fingers
- Fiesta Toast
- Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos
- Sunshine Wrap
Back To School Lunch Recipes
- Everything Bagel Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Rainbow Italian Pasta Salad
- Mini Sweet Pepper Pizzas
- Rainbow Veggie Wraps
- Easy Pizza Pasta Salad
Back To School Dinner Recipes
- Italian Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner
- Mandarin Chicken Stir Fry and Green Beans
- Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies
- Mini Sweet Pepper Sheet Pan Nachos
Start with a Well-Stocked Kitchen
Having a well-stocked kitchen with a pantry, and freezer full of the items that your family loves and uses most often makes it easier when it’s time to make a meal. Make sure that you have spices, sauces, condiments, rice and pasta, canned and frozen vegetables, and fruits so that you can make healthy meals quickly and easily.
Set aside time to wash and prep all of your vegetables for the week at once. If you know that you are going to be using sweet peppers and onions in three different meals for the week go ahead and prep all of them.
Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and pull them out as you need them. It doesn’t take long to cut them how you will need them, and you’ll be surprised at how much time it saves when you are ready to cook.
Consider Using Convenience Foods
If you are really pressed for time during those first few weeks of back to school, there is no shame in using convenience foods. Especially if you choose the healthy ones!
We love using pre-washed and cut vegetables like green beans, sweetpotatoes, or bags of fresh cut broccoli from the produce department. You can also use frozen vegetables in place of fresh ones to save time.
Pre-cooked pasta and rice are also some convenient options that can cut down on your preparation time. If you know that you are going to be using rice or pasta throughout the week for multiple meals you can also cook a big batch once and use it during the week.
Consider buying a cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli and using it in your meals throughout the week. Shredded and chopped rotisserie chicken can be used for BBQ chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, or in casseroles, stir fry’s, and sheet pan meals.
These days you can get an already-cooked chicken for the same or less price as raw chicken. That doesn’t take into account the value of your most finite resource…time!
Plan for Leftovers
It’s okay to cook a little extra to make sure that you have leftovers. Those leftovers can be used for lunches the next day or as part of another meal later in the week. You can also use all of the leftovers in the fridge at the end of the week to make sure you get a night off from cooking.
Double Up on Your Protein
If you know that you are going to be using the same type of protein more than once during the week go ahead and cook it all at the same time. We love making double duty meals! If your meal plan has you using ground turkey twice this week, go ahead and cook all of it at the same time. Cool it down, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you make the next meal with it.
Use Your Kitchen Tools
Chances are you have an Instant Pot, air fryer, or slow cooker in your kitchen. Take advantage of these tools to make getting healthy meals on the table faster and easier. You can put your ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a delicious hot dinner.
Use your air fryer to make some delicious air fryer green beans for a tasty side dish or a healthy after-school snack.
Throw the ingredients for a meal in your Instant Pot and take advantage of quick cooking time to have a meal on the table in minutes.
Use these meal planning tips, and this done for you meal plan to help you get back into the swing of things when school starts. Knowing that you have a plan for dinner can help you to dial back the stress during this busy time of year!
What are your back to school meal planning tips?
Just getting started with meal planning? Looking for a refresher on how to meal plan? We got you!