We are slow eaters in my family, which I’m not saying is necessarily a bad thing. But it can be inconvenient at times. Since it can get expensive and less than healthy to eat fast food on the regular, I’ve created a little system of packing homemade meals on the go. My favorite travel tool for such meals? The mason jar! It’s not just a trend, it’s totally practical. But, bonus, you will also look cool carrying it. 😉
We use our mason jars for smoothies in the morning on the way to our homeschool meetings. We use them for hot meals on the way to meetings or on the sidelines of baseball games in the summer. It’s the perfect way to give everyone their own portable portion, plus they stack nicely in the cooler or bag I’m carrying. They’re easy to clean and if you lose a lid, it’s no big deal or expense to replace it.
Most of the time my husband and I use the quart size jar, while I use either the pint or half pint size for my littles. In the picture above, you can see simple, fleece cozies I made for my littles’ jars, which make it easy for them to carry their jars even if the contents are hot or cold. Since fleece doesn’t fray, I simply cut a piece the width I needed it with a little extra length, pulled the fleece piece tight around my jar, pinned it in place and then hand stitched the ends together. Because fleece will stretch a little over time, I made sure to sew it rather tight. I stitched up and down the width of the cozy a few times to make the seam strong. We’ve been using them for over a year without any trouble.
Some of our favorite meals to take on the road:
1. Smoothies: We’ll really throw just about anything we have on hand into the blender to make a good smoothie, but the recipes on Simple Green Smoothies are a great guide to assure a tasty result. If we’re in a special rush, I like having some pre made smoothies (mango is one of our favorites!) on hand. I buy the large containers at BJ’s and divide them into our various jars. These reusable straws and lids are perfect for this, because the straws are so wide.
[Side note: Are you in the market for a blender? I think this video comparison is so helpful.)
2. Taco soup: A college friend gave me a recipe for taco soup once we were both married and it quickly became a family favorite. (This one is similar.) I like this one on the run, because it’s thicker, but you could easily use any of your favorite soup recipes. Some days, I just lay out the taco ingredients and allow my guys to customize by assembling their own taco in a jar. Add some tortilla chips on top for a great dinner on the run.
3. Green Salad: Have you seen this genius idea plastered all over Pinterest? Well, it works and there are gadgets you can use. Those little adapters are great for bringing fresh veggies and dips along too.
4. Eggs: In my book, eggs in nearly any form are the perfect food. For this, I’d scramble then load them up with some ham and cheese or avocado and feta and it’s a perfectly, filling breakfast (or any other meal) on the run. This like the tacos, could easily be customized by each person in the family with their favorite mix-ins.
Are you like us? Do you sometimes need meals on the go to get around town? if so, I’d love to hear your tips or favorite meals!