I don’t know about you but I get really anxious and stressed out when school starts.

Yes, that is due mainly to the fact that my babies will be away most of the day and I will miss them terribly, but also because I will have to plan and prepare school lunches for everyone!

The issue is that we don’t do packaged foods. It would be easier to go to a store and grab boxes of frozen or sugary treats. However, our family chooses healthy nutrition over practicality, lol!

So, when school starts, so does the drama of figuring out meals and snacks that everyone will  eat for sure. We don’t like the idea of sending kids to school with snacks that although are healthy, we know they won’t eat. I’m not throwing food in the garbage!!!

After one week of school and having some of the snacks coming home intact, both hubby and I decided that the best way to deal with this was to sit down with all the kids and figure out which things they ALL like and will eat for sure.

IT WORKED!!! At least so far 🙂

We came up with at least 20 main meals and about 10 snacks.

One thing we took in consideration was the fact that although my kids like fruits and veggies, they feel very self conscious when they have to eat them at school (most kids don’t take them OR the stuff takes too long to eat). So we figured that it would be better to ensure that their daily servings of fresh fruits and veggies are eaten at home.

This can be a little mind boggling for some people. We actually had some teachers commenting on the lack of fresh fruits and veggies in our kids lunches! However, when I explained that all the meals and snacks were made from scratch, usually included cooked veggies/fruit; and that we fed them the fresh foods at home, everyone agreed that it was better than having kids throw food in the garbage (like I saw some doing) or just bringing them back home untouched!

Anyway, this being said, I thought I’d share some of the things we prepare for our children, starting this week with a simple apple crisp!

NOTE: We tend to cook in big batches and freeze some. This way we don’t have to prepare elaborate meals and snacks every single day. Not even I, am willing to do that, lol.

First thing, gather your tools! I love my apple peeler/corer/slicer!!! Yep, it does all of those at the same time. You just place the apple on the spears and twist the handle. About 10 seconds later you will end up with a perfectly peeled apple, already sliced and with no core!!! It makes preparing a lot of apples a breeze! For this batch I prepared about 13 apples.

After peeling your apples, just hold them in your hand one by one and crush them into a bowl.

I usually bake one big pie dish, so we can have some that day, and then bake several small oven safe glass containers. I LOVE these! They can go in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. Plus, they have rubber lids which not only prevent the contents from spilling all over their lunch boxes, but also makes it possible to freeze them for a later date.

In a separate bowl, I mix oats, sugar (brown if possible), cinnamon and a pinch of salt. I usually eyeball it, but it should be about 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of salt. I then distribute the apples between all the cooking vessels and spread the dry oat mix on top.

I then melt about 2/3 cup of butter and spoon it on top of the dry mix.

Depending on how much time I have, I either place the dishes in the oven or in the microwave. Usually I do the microwave 😉 – 20 minutes on high for a big dish or 10 to 12 minutes for the little ones (I put in 3 at the same time).

Let the little ones cool and then place the lids on! As for the rest, well, just ENJOY!!!

You can find apple crisp recipes all over the internet! Or maybe your family has a recipe that everyone uses???

Please feel free to comment and share your own recipe for apple crisp.

Here are some links to other apple crisp recipes: 1, 2, 3