The big & awesome post with easy on the go meals for busy moms and farm wives is here!
From handheld food ideas to quick meals for practice nights, to dinners in the tractor, you need this guide!
If you deliver field meals to farmers or plan for family meals on the go, this is for you!
With planting season upon us and our general obsession with tackling all things kitchen – I figure it’s time to chat about how we deliver meals to the field. The tools we use that help make the long days bearable, or at the very least, tide over hangry family members & workers.
Now I’ve delivered my fair share of meals for farmers.
I’ve gotta say I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly, and in the process I’ve perfected a few things. I’ve come to understand which tools are a mainstay in the back of my Suburban.
Today, I’m super excited to share them with you.
Let’s review my top 5 on the go meal tips:
These are good reminders for seasoned veterans and newbies alike. I serve these up with a dose of heartfelt compassion and encouragement!
- Cook foods that can be ready 30 minutes early, or served two hours late. If the equipment is acting up, if the weather changes in a heartbeat – speed or longevity is in your best interest. Maybe both.
Farm meals require flexibility, a lesson I learned the hard way. Hmmm, maybe I should write about that some day…
- Don’t expect rave reviews. Honestly my farmers are good about telling me they like my cooking but the reality is, it’s a means to an end. They’re there to eat and then get back in the tractor. Or sometimes, they just grab the food and head back to the tractor.
Give ’em a quick kiss or a high five as you cross paths. It’ll keep you connected.
- Send a snack for later. Call me crazy, but I like to send a snack that will keep until later. Sometimes our farmers will work late into the night. I feel better knowing if they have a stream of semi – healthy food.
And yes, life is better with a Snickers bar but that will only get you so far, you know????
- Use the “no knife required” test. Almost anything can be a portable field meal. I’ve served some really crazy things that worked. Just make sure it’s fork friendly. Spoons – well, maybe.
No runny soups but sometimes a spoon is nice for fried rice or something. Knives are a no – they’re too much trouble and just not practical.
Your best bet is foods that you eat with a fork or picked up with hands!
- Keep track of what works. If there’s a meal that gets rave reviews (see tip #2), or something goes over really well, make a note of it.
When times get tough and you’re running on fumes, you’ll want to refer to these meal ideas. Write them down – they’re like your insurance policy.
Trust me, when you’re feeling stress and in the midst of the busy season, you won’t be able to recall them from memory..
HANDHELD FOOD IDEAS
Do you need handheld foods ideas so you can keep things rolling? Check out these posts with ideas for you!
PACKED LUNCH IDEAS
If you need a meal that can be packed for lunch or dinner with no heat required, you’ll want these recipes and ideas!
EASY ON THE GO MEALS
Okay, now that we’ve set the groundwork, let’s talk about tools for healthy portable meals!
Dishes for Meals on the Go
First off, you’re gonna want some dishes for your meals (obviously). I have total Earth guilt with styrofoam to go containers, plus storing them takes up a lot of space. My solution? Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe containers are the way to go. They have lids which is great for drop and go, AND they can be stacked for storage. Make sure they’re BPA free.
I’ve used several brands and styles and my favorites by far are these 3-compartment meal prep containers for lunch or dinner with side dishes. They have lids that snap shut tightly and they hold up for years! I suggest owning enough to have an extra set on hand. You’ll be amazed how much you use them.
The meal prep bowls are an awesome tool for sloppy joe stuffed baked potatoes, pastas and stir fries. Yes, I serve stir fry in the field.
Coolers can keep hot foods hot but they also keep cold foods cold. There are two schools of thought here. You can use a traditional style cooler like this which can double as a seat in a pinch. The downside is that they’re heavy and pretty cumbersome.
So my cooler of choice in the case is the collapsable coolers. They have sides that are sturdy enough to hold up but they aren’t total space hogs. There are cute patterned coolers, too. I think you deserve one, wink wink!!
Fold Up/Camping Chairs
If you’ve been to a ball game or a backyard BBQ you probably already have these fold up chairs. Keep them at the ready. Sometimes people like to sit, sometimes people like to stand. I usually have our two littles
in tow and they like to have a seat on Nana and Papa’s lap.
Oh, and make sure you get them with a cup holder for drinks. You can get double use of them and have it hold a beer when the work is done!
I like to keep the smaller thing like the dishes, silverware, paper towels etc. in a large canvas tote bag. I like this one in particular because it’s vinyl lined and water resistant which means easy clean-up.
This tip is practical but super helpful! I use a smaller square laundry basket to transport some meals. I’ll put a crock pot, Instant Pot, or casserole dish in the basket and know it will arrive still intact. Sounds weird but it works!
Garbage Duty – it’s not pretty, but this works.
Where there’s food, there’s garbage. I use this container from the Dollar Tree but you can use any box or container you have hanging around. Line it with a plastic bag (the kind your groceries are packed in at the store. When you’re done, pull it, toss it and repeat!
I actually run with two of them. One for garbage and one for dirty dishes.
And last, but not least, you’ve gotta look cute on the job! My uniform mostly consists of jeans, these awesome outdoor pants and cute tshirts about farm life and of course, the I Feed Farmers shirt, designed by yours truly!
*Btw, if you use styrofoam, I’m in no way shaming you. This is just my way of doing things. Carry on, meal makers.
Other field meal necessities…
This is not the time to pull out your best silver serving spoons, but I bet you figured that. I use sturdy serving utensils when it comes to meal delivery and serving. They’ll last forever provided they don’t fall out and get run over a tractor. Hey, stuff happens. U
Utensil & Napkin Holders
I keep a rectangular snap shut container stocked with plastic forks, spoons and napkins. I love that it stays stocked for the week and is enclosed to keep the dirt out and the contents in.
Tools for Meals on the Go
A few more things
Waterproof, Roll Up Blanket
We have one of these blanket in ALL our vehicles. They take up hardly any room, they are great to throw on the ground wherever you need them and they wash up super easy. Plus, the dirt or whatever from the field doesn’t stick to the waterproof side like a traditional blanket. That’s pretty much a no brainer, don’t you think??!?
A big ole thing of water
For filling water bottles, for washing hands, for rinsing whatever, you can fill this container at the beginning of the week and you’re set! Water will be at the ready for hand washing.
How to organize your meals on the go
So there you have it, my farm girl meal delivery essentials.
Questions? Ask below and I will reply to each and every one!
P.S. You can get my Simple Weeknight Meals Cookbook here – it’s filled with simple meals your family will love, including healthy portable meal ideas!
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