The Art of Mom Hacking

Frequent Flyer Family Pro-Tip: 10 Freezer Meals To Have At The Ready

One of the first things I realized when our family went fully mobile was that my already threadbare grasp on maintaining a semi-healthy lifestyle went firing out the backside of that Delta jet.  In short, without my regular routine, I failed miserably at trying to eat well and exercise regularly.  On top of that, every time you find yourself trapped in an airport with 4 whiney kids you end up dropping an easy c-note on a mediocre meal.

There are some quick fixes for general travel and airport eating that you’ve probably seen somewhere before, so definitely don’t forget to keep these in mind.

  1. Pack a few sandwiches, fruit and veggies in your carry-on to eat in the airport.  You can’t take liquids through security, but there’s nothing that says you can’t have food.  This will save you $100’s of dollars if your family is 6 people deep.
  2. Stick to AirBnB rentals with a kitchen and cook most meals instead of eating out.  This goes without saying.  For one, you don’t have to brush your hair (and that of your many children) prior to getting some breakfast – and it costs way less.  I’m all for anything that’s easier and cheaper.  This isn’t to say I’m some kind of ogre who never lets her kids have a fun vacation meal, but those should be reserved for special times and places.  If the food is the attraction, then go for it!
  3. Always carry water.  Carrying water isn’t just for hiking trips.  Anytime you start to feel dehydrated it’s possible to mistake the feeling for hunger.  If you’re out and about all day, that will land you squarely inside the cookie dough shop you just passed.

What about when you first get home?  There’s nothing fresh in the refrigerator.  The milk is bad and you are exhausted.  Guess we might as well run through McDonald’s on the way, huh?

No!  That’s like 1000 calories of pure defeat.  There’s another way.  Take a few hours and prep a stack of freezer meals.  While you’re picking up the ingredients, also grab a couple of those frozen juice concentrates.  Now next time you return from a trip, pop a frozen homemade meal in the oven when you get inside and you’ll be ready to eat as quickly as you get all of the luggage distributed to the bedrooms.

I found this awesome page on a site called Thriving Home Blog that has an unusually high number of recipes that I’m looking forward to trying.  (If you’ve read my meal planning post, you already know how annoyed I can get with chef’s who are trying too hard.)

Here’s my top 10 to try next –

  1. Pork Tenderloin With Seasoned Rub
  2. Chicken Parmesan Casserole
  3. Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
  4. Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken
  5. Rosemary Shrimp Scampi
  6. Sweet and Savory Salmon
  7. English Muffin Pizzas
  8. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups
  9. Pesto Burgers
  10. Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

There are about 17 bazillion more of these online just waiting for you to find your favorites.  If you’re really so into efficiency that even this won’t satisfy your need for instant gratification, you can just double a few of your weeknight recipes and leave the 2nd half uncooked.  Then pop it in the freezer and you’re ready for the return trip.

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