How do you get meals on the table during busy sports weeks?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2011
How do you get meals on the table during busy sports weeks?
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 2:51pm

I really struggle with getting quality meals prepared and ready when the sports seaons start.  Most nights I'm out the door by 5 to get a child to one practice, and then the other has one the next day.  When games start, that schedule will be all over the place, and most nights we aren't home until after 7/7:30.  

It's too early to get dinner ready before they leave, also not good to heavy meal before you are going to be that active.  What quick dishes do you rely on?  When do you have time to prep the dish if you work?  I don't always get good results with some crockpot meals when I have to get them started at 7am, and they won't be eaten for at least 12 hours.  I can always change it to warm after work, but not aways happy with the results.  Maybe it's the recipes I'm trying? 

Do you have any suggestions or tips on how you get it done?



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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2013
It's been a long time since my son was the age to play kid's sports. But I do remember those days. Everyone understood that if the family was to be involved in all kinds of after school activities...sports, scouts, etc., that would mean simple meals with no complaints. There were years that dad worked swing shift adding to the problem. It was not unusual to have what the rest of the world considered lunch for our dinner.... a sandwich, fruit and milk. No matter how we try it's impossible to do it all.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

We do a lot of crock pot meals, especially soups in the winter time.  I have a crock pot that automatically switches to the warm stage after the cooking cycle is over.  I usually set it for 8 hours.  Here is a great blog that has 365 days worth of crock pot recipes.

I also do a lot of prep work ahead of time.  I will take an hour or two on Sunday and do all my chopping of veggies, if I am doing a stir fry that week I will do the rice ahead of time so all I have to do is throw it in a pan with some soy sauce, some veggies and an egg and then do the stir fry part.  Tacos are pretty self service and quick, you can easily make the meat, hamburger or chicken, before hand and then just reheat it along with toppings for it.  is also a good site to learn how to plan meals for a month, prep and freeze most of it.  I don't do it a month in advance, I usually stick to about a week's worth, but it gives some great tips on it all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011

I was going to suggest the crockpot but I can understand what you are saying about it sitting there for 12 hours.  

How about freezing up some meals that you could pop into the oven to heat between practices/games?  That way you are getting a good home cooked meal without the hurrying around each day?  Of course it would require a lot of prep work, but it might be worth it. 


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