Full Disclosure: This is not my idea.
I saw it on Twin Cities Moms Blog Instagram this summer and decided to give it a try. My kids thought I was the best mom ever (for approximately 3 minutes).
Simultaneously, I was reading Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life, and was specifically struck by the chapter on Simplified Technology. Ley pointed out the ways that we can let social media drain us and ways to combat it.
But THIS is what social media is good for. Ideas that we would never come up with on our own.
Snacky foods in a muffin pan is not rocket science. But without seeing how someone else did it, we wouldn’t have Muffin Tin Mondays in our house.
And Muffin Tin Mondays are a legit thing now. My kids look forward to it and, literally, count down the days until Monday for just this reason. The irony is that we eat almost the exact same thing for supper on Sunday nights (lovingly called ‘Snacky Supper’ in our home), but they don’t care. Or even realize it.
Muffin Tin Mondays aren’t just great because there are no plates or silverware, or because it’s a great way to clean out whatever scraps of food you have lying around. They’re great because it’s a way to make the mundane things special.
Every other day of the week, we eat lunch (on plates with silverware) at our Dining Room table. But not on Mondays. After arriving home from pre-school pick up, the muffin tin is filled in less than 3 minutes and put on the kitchen island counter. The kids belly up to the counter and think they are living their best life.
It’s special because we call it special. And, sometimes, that’s all it takes.
So, what’s the equation for this rocket science meal? For your own turn as Mom of the Year, follow this formula:
Muffin Tin Mondays
- 2 Proteins (Sandwich meat, Summer Sausage, Nuts, Hard-Boiled Eggs, etc.)
- 2 Veggies (Carrots, Cucumbers, Celery, Pea Pods, Broccoli, Grape Tomatoes, Avocado chunks, Pepper slices, etc.)
- 2 Fruits (Blueberries, Grapes, Strawberries, Apple slices, Orange slices, Prunes, Cherries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Kiwi, Watermelon, Mango, etc.)
- 3 C’s (Cheese, Crackers & Condiments)
- *A leftover muffin well for shells, stems & pits gets you extra points
Instead of crackers, you could do mini muffins, any variety of pretzel, veggie straws….. the possibilities are endless.
Obviously, these suggestions are not an exhaustive list. You can really do this up. But let me say that, for us, what makes this successful is it’s simplicity.
Type ‘Muffin Tin Monday’ into the Pinterest search bar, and you’ll see exactly what we avoid. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of effort and creativity. But to try to do that every Monday would defeat the purpose for us.
So, I start with the leftover shelf in our fridge and then move down to the fruit & veggies shelf and fill the rest of the muffin wells with whatever we have in the pantry.
Bonus: What they don’t eat becomes my lunch. It’s perfect because they almost never eat all the veggies & nuts and almost always eat all of the crackers.
What lunch hack have you found that works well in your home?