If you’re a mom, April is probably a pretty busy month! This is the time of year when schools like to schedule fun field trips and extra school activities, and at work, you may be overloaded with deadlines, new projects or spring conferences.

On top of that, your children may have baseball, track or soccer practice, as well as music lessons and so forth. Needless to say, the weeknight dinner rush is in full-swing crunch mode!

Well, let me ease your mind: you don’t have to cook dinner on these hectic nights. You don’t even have to be slow-cooker chef extraordinaire! A simple sandwich and some fruit or a salad can meet your needs. Try these easy weeknight meals to get you through the end of the school year:

  • April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day! Who doesn’t love a good grilled
    cheese sandwich? Stock up on some hearty whole-grain bread on the weekend, and some great cheese. You can even add veggies to your sandwich, or try this Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich using leftover chicken if you have it.
  • A good sandwich starts with good bread. Slices of bread are more calorie-conscious than your typical “sub roll.” Try healthier whole and multi-grain breads (for instance, some may contain healthy sunflower seeds). Look for small, firm whole wheat rolls or ciabatta bread.portobella_small
  • Fillers. In addition to the grilled cheese, other great fillers include leftover meats, such as roast turkey, baked ham, tuna fish or roast beef. If you have a piece of leftover steak, slice it very thinly and pile it on a bun.
  • Toppers. Lettuce and tomatoes are great, but mix it up by using nutrient-packed baby spinach leaves, coleslaw, thinly-sliced bell peppers, banana peppers, spring salad greens or even thinly-sliced beets as toppings for your sandwiches.
  • Grilling. If you have time to grill a sandwich, go for it. Something about dinner being warm is appealing to many. Use a non-stick pan, and spread only a teaspoon of whipped butter or a healthy margarine spread onto each side of the sandwich. Grill until golden brown.
  • No-cook sides. Nothing is easier than fresh fruit. Cut up a couple of apples, oranges or add some berries, and serve in a bowl family style for everyone to take. Keep washed salad greens on hand to make a quick tossed salad.
  • Add a healthy beverage. A glass of protein-packed lowfat milk, which also has calcium and vitamin D, ensures your child is getting what they need. Add an eight-ounce glass of milk to your sandwich for extra protein and minerals.