Two Dallas International School Families Find a Successful Routine at Home While Factoring in Meal Preparation

Dallas International School mother and career woman, Virginie Daniel-Jamoukha, has been successfully juggling a full work schedule and raising children all throughout social distancing and virtual learning caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Finding routine in her daily activities has allowed Virginie to schedule the most important events of her day and ensure things remain organized and her time is managed efficiently.

Virginie and son, GS student, Noah, have created a routine with the Le Mener family and their son Remy to foster a sense of regularity during such disrupted times. While working from home when Noah and friend, Remy, participate in virtual learning through the DIS hybrid learning models, Virginie confirms the children are prepared for class before starting her own day. Balancing Noah’s classes, providing time for meals, and guaranteeing outdoor activities and exercise are factored in, Virginie remains constantly on the go.
Thoroughly enjoying having more time to spend at home with her family, Virginie shares, “It truly takes a village, and luckily everyone chips in to make it work. I am also loving having the kids home more these days. I get to share in some of their daily activities, and I get to watch them grow. We also utilize the evening time, especially around dinner, to get them to talk about their day and what they liked and disliked doing and why.”
One of the most important elements to organizing her weekly schedule is meal preparation. Virginie has created a schedule to plan meals and preparation time for every day of the week, including snacks, lunch and dinner, nutritional value, time allotted for grocery shopping and providing diversity of cuisine.  
“We have a set routine for meals throughout the week along with the Le Mener family. Groceries are purchased over the weekend, usually Saturdays, and Sunday afternoon is dedicated to meal preparation. We work together with Remy’s mom, Carey, to set a weekly menu and try to keep things healthy while still providing a variety of cuisines to develop the children’s taste buds. I usually prepare two to three meals on Sunday that can be easily re-heated during the week. Meals are complete with protein, carbs and fiber. Carey Le Mener also provides another two lunches and snacks for the children during week. Some typical meals include meat quesadillas with sides of vegetables, chili con carne, Tajine (Moroccan stews that are a mix of sweet and savory flavors), meatballs, grilled meat, etc. The recipes are simple, usually requiring only one or two dishes or one pan for preparation and cooking. It has saved me an immeasurable amount of time and the kids have been enjoying the variety,” explains Virginie.
Wanting to share some of her recipes with the DIS community, Virginie hopes these resources will help other parents save time and establish a routine. “I am happy to share some of these menu ideas with the community, and I hope that other parents are able to utilize some of these recipes to make mealtime quick and simple,” says Virginie.

For some of Virginie's favorite time-saving recipes, click the links below:

-To learn how to make a butter chicken with basmati rice, roasted cauliflower and naan bread, click here
-To learn how to make a simple turkey chili served with rice, tortilla chips and sliced avocado, click here
-To learn how to make a chicken tajine served with couscous and chickpeas, click here
-To learn how to make green chicken enchiladas served with rice and corn on the cob, click here