An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Back To School Meal And Snack Ideas

Monday, September 10, 2018

Back To School Meal And Snack Ideas

Back to school time is often rushed and chaotic. Use these ideas and COUPON CODES to make eating a little easier!

This post is sponsored by

The school year is upon us! Even for folks like me who have late in the year starts - we're all finally back in the school saddle! That excites me, but I know it also means some families become insanely busy. Hard to find time to grocery shop, hard to find time to cook, meals at odd hours and everyone in your kitchen at once hungry and tired kinda busy! I've got an awesome roundup of products and services to help you through the busy back to school season, and a Crock Pot recipe you'll love that's as perfect for fall as it is for busy schedules. Here are some great back to school meal and snack ideas to get you through the season.

Grocery shopping life-saver: SHIPT
I'm one of the rare ones who loves grocery shopping, but even my love for selecting food can't override the fact that it is time consuming. I usually do one run on Saturdays without the kids and one mid-week with the kids, and when the kids are with me? What should take me 15 mins takes an hour. With busy back to school schedules (and as an extra bonus in my case, the impending arrival of my twins!) I know that I won't have the luxury of time to do my typical leisurely shopping trips. 

Enter SHIPT, a membership-based grocery delivery service. For a $49 annual fee you get same day shopping for all your groceries and get to select a one hour window for it to be delivered to your house. That's key - ever ordered food and it was delivered when you weren't home, so it sat outside for far too long? I have, and since I'm in Texas, all the food was destroyed. The ice packs were actually HOT. So selecting your delivery time is essential for hot or cold climates!

What I really loved about it is you select the store you want the food from. I had three options in Dallas, and was able to pick from grocers I actually shop. SHIPT directs you right to the grocers website and you select your items from there - you even get access to the sale stuff! I got to pick delivery times anywhere from two hours out to a full 24 hours out. I could literally buy my items at Central Market and have them delivered to my door in less than two hours! A personal shopper goes and gets your things, and drops it off at your door. My gal texted me (bless her, I never answer numbers I don't know!) and kept me up to date on where she was in the process and when exactly she'd be at my home. She was fantastic, and her communication was spot on. There's also free shipping on deliveries over $35, and there's a detailed section where you can list your food preferences ahead of time so your personal shopper knows what you like. Order online, know that you're getting your preferred type of food (ripe bananas only, please!) and get it when you want it and will be home to receive it. Yes yes yes! Sign up here.

Snacking ideas: Good allergy-safe with MadeGood
We're beyond blessed in our home to have zero food allergies. We can all eat all the things and I don't have to worry when I send my kids off to preschool what other moms are packing in their kids' lunches that might make my child ill. I know not everyone is as lucky, however; we just got notified that no peanuts, peanut-based products, or anything with any type of nut is allowed in Henry's lunches due to one of his classmates being severely allergic. I can pack him some goodies from MadeGood and know that he'll eat it (always a challenge with picky eaters!) and that I'm not endangering any other child's life. These organic snacks food allergy safe. They're made in a facility free from the eight most common food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, sesame, fish and shellfish. They make tasty granola bars, granola bites and crisped rice treats too. If you're a food allergy mom, or send your child to a food allergy safe classroom/school and are looking for snack items to send in your child's lunch, you've got to check out MadeGood here.

Meal ideas: Eat organically with EatPre and Lundberg
I get it. Back to school meals are just HARD. Kids come home hungry and want snacks and want to know what's for dinner immediately. They come home from sports practice or after school activities ravenous. You need easy to make and quick to cook meal ideas to tame everyone's inner-hangry-beast.

EatPre is an online meat delivery service that offers grass fed beef, never treated with antibiotics and never injected with growth hormones. They have everything from steaks to ground beef. I made the ribeye and top sirloin steaks on Labor Day (did you see the feast on my IG stories?) and they turned out great! Y'all know I'm a beef snob since I live in Texas and these were just as good as any local brand I'd buy - with the convenience of them being shipped to my door! Try them for 10% thru Oct. 31 using code UNCOMPLICATED and get an ADDITIONAL 40% off 80 and 85 lean ground beef using code BTS40 (additional 40% off good thru Sept 21). Get your discounts at EatPre here!

Ever struggle to come up with a good side dish to serve along side your protein of choice? You need something fast; you need something easy to make; and you need something filling and nutritious. Lundberg makes rice and quinoa pilafs that are organic, ready in 20 mins or less and vegan-friendly and gluten free too. Pull some protein out of the freezer to thaw, add a fresh vegetable and a Lundberg pilaf, and you've got a nutritious and easy week night meal to serve your family. Check them out here.

Easy, healthy weeknight meal to make ahead in your Crock Pot or Instant Pot

Better than cooking after school/work, come home to a meal that's already prepared for you! I used my EatPre ground beef, the Lundberg organic white rice and some groceries delivered to my door from SHIPT to create this super easy Crock Pot Gumbo. You can buy your veggies pre-cut (thank you Central Market!) or cut them yourself on the weekend and store in a plastic bag or glass container. Then dump everything else in your Crock Pot (or InstaPot) in the morning before you leave and come home to a delicious meal!

Crock Pot Gumbo
- 1lb EatPre ground beef
- Lundberg white rice pilaf with the flavor packet
- 2 large Andouille sausage links
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 32oz container of veggie stock (beef or chicken is fine too)
- 3 tablespoons flour

*My SHIPT andiouille sausage came raw, so I browned it in a skillet. If yours is precooked, no need to brown it, simply cut it into slices and add it to the Crock Pot. Since I had a skillet out anyway, I browned my ground beef off in the pan, and added the flour to that to thicken the gumbo. You can add everything straight to the Crock Pot if you'd prefer and it will cook for 8-10 hours. Pre-cooking the raw meat cuts the cooking time down to 4-6 hours.

Easy, healthy weeknight meal to make ahead in your Crock Pot or Instant Pot

Turn your Crock Pot onto high heat and add the ground beef and andiouille sausage, and sprinkle with the four. Let the Crock Pot come up to temperature. Add all the remaining ingredients, including the flavor packet from the rice pilaf, stir to incorporate and drop your temperature down to low. Cook covered on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the rice has absorbed the excess fluid, the meat is cooked through and the veggies are soft. Goes well with a dash of your favorite hot sauce!


  1. This looks really good and I have all the ingredients on hand! And gosh, yes! It’s crazy how starving kids are the SECOND they get home! Crock pot meals are the best for that!

  2. these look really yummy, and even better, healthy! I will deff have to try these out!

  3. Really glad my host kids get healthy lunches at school...
    I would love to try those bars sometime. Unfortunately, they're not yet available in England :(

  4. I need to check out MadeGood. They've got a tasty selection of snacks!

  5. Such great ideas! I'm always looking for fun snacks to add to lunches!

  6. Don't have kids yet, but these are also great ideas for me to take to work.

  7. These are great tips!!! I wish we had SHIPT here, I am one of the weird ones too, I love to grocery shop but with school in full swing who has the time!! Oh and by the way that gumbo looks and sounds fabulous, can't wait to try!

  8. SHIPT sounds like a very convenient delivery service - I wish we had it here. My youngest just started her senior year of high school, and after raising five kids, it seems like I've packed a million lunches. Keeping it interesting can be a real trick sometimes.

  9. I love the cage free eggs. Chickens deserve to have a better life.

  10. These are great back to school meals, thanks for sharing, I am looking for new recipes for my kids so I will be trying these!

    ~xo Sheree

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