This is a guest post from Sarah of Sunshine and Mint.

September is such a great period of change in the year. The kids are back in school, the leaves start changing (well, for some people), and the sweaters start their comeback. But with these changes comes a transition period that can leave you pressed for time to do basic, everyday things such as cooking.

It can be hard to find time to cook healthy meals for your family. Check out these practical tips to get dinner on the table, even when life gets crazy.

Today I’m sharing some of my secrets to enjoying a home cooked meal every night of the week, no matter how insane life gets.

Embrace the weekend cook-up.

Hands-off cooking is probably my favorite way to ensure a healthy, home-cooked meal. On Sunday mornings, I’ll throw a big hunk of meat in the crockpot with some spices and roast some veggies in the oven. A chicken cooked low and slow and shredded goes great with whatever vegetables are in season and a store-bought sauce. Or you can combine whatever you have on hand for a delicious chili that lasts all week. Find recipes that involve little hands-on time and make a huge batch to freeze and reheat on those days when life gets insane. These stuffed peppers fit the bill quite nicely and are a breeze to cook.

Breakfast for dinner.

Growing up, I loved the days where my brother had a baseball game to get to. That meant us kids could get away with eating cereal or a big bowl of scrambled eggs for dinner. Breakfast can be so easy to make when you’re pressed for time, and kids usually love the novelty of it. Bonus: eggs are an amazing protein that keeps you satiated for hours.

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Get creative!

You’re at a loss for dinner tonight. You have to get the kids to their practice and have no time to stop at the store to get stuff to make a coherent meal. I totally get that. This is the perfect time to get creative with what you have at home. Ground meat cooks up in a flash. Steamed or sautéed vegetables are done in no time. Add a sauce and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal, no matter how crazy it sounds. Ground turkey with mushrooms, asparagus, mustard, and black olives? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  Stacey’s pasta surprise is a great way to bring the creativity to dinner.

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Don’t be afraid to buy pre-cut, frozen, or other convenience items.

Instead of hitting the drive-through line, put that money to better use by buying pre-cut veggies. They’re a lifesaver when you’re pressed for time. Frozen vegetables are also a great thing to have on hand (and tend to be fresher than you’re “fresh” produce). A rotisserie chicken can be stretched over multiple meals in a variety of different ways. Some people think these can be a waste of money, but when you’re already being pulled in 60 different directions the price is worth the added convenience.

It’s actually pretty easy to get a nutritious meal in you and your kids when life gets crazy. It just takes a little planning and some creativity. For more meal ideas, be sure to check out my blog, Sunshine and Mint.

Sarah is a coffee-drinking, cookbook-collecting, scarf-loving Floridian who blogs about food, healthy living, small business, and blogging at Sunshine and Mint. When she’s not blogging, Sarah can usually be found cheering on her favorite football team or reading the next trending book at Starbucks. Her favorite things are a good breakfast taco and a great yoga session.

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