It doesn’t matter if you are ankle, knee, or neck deep in seeing your family through the “bleacher years.” When eating in bag chairs, you can only feed your people so many sub sandwiches and garbage from the snack shack before calling foul.

So don’t.

Instead, plan ahead, eliminate decision fatigue, and save money with these bleacher-friendly meals.


The great tragedy of parenting is that at precisely the time your kids start sleeping in on the weekends, you have to get them out of the house in the pre-dawn hours to head to [insert sport].

Resent the early mornings less by prepping breakfast—preferably something that can be eaten in the car—a night or two before.

Kodiak Protein Muffins + pre-prepped protein (ie: bacon, sausage)
Breakfast Burritos 
Egg Bake

See 6 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Families for details and more ideas.

Salads with Protein

The next time you grill, throw on a few extra pieces of steak or chicken to have at the ready in you fridge or freezer for bleacher-friendly salads. Or, toss leftover rotisserie chicken together with some jar pesto. 

Assemble salads in 3-compartment Ziploc containers up to two days ahead with fruit, nuts, string cheese, or whatever your people like to snack on. 

Game Time: 
Stack containers in your cooler in the order they’ll be eaten. I put the spectators’ containers on the top and the athlete’s near the bottom. Chances are you and your athlete’s siblings will eat first. 

Don’t forget the forks and dressing.

The change up:
Assemble your favorite pasta salad instead. This can be as simple as tossing together some rotini, onions, tri-color bell peppers, and cubed cheese with Italian dressing or whipping up something fancier like this Turkey Cherry Salad

Fruit Kabobs

Skewer fruit, wrap individually in tinfoil, refrigerate overnight.

Game Time: 
Serve with sandwiches, wraps, muffins, or as a stand-alone refresher between games. 

The change up:
Skip the skewers; pack mini-fruit salads in individual containers to distribute as needed. 

Guacamole Tostadas 

These require a little more game-time effort, but I believe in you. 

Click here for the play by play.

Bean & Corn Salad

Chop up a head (or two) of romaine lettuce and throw it into a bowl with one can of rinsed black beans, two cups of corn (frozen, fresh, canned, whatever you have on hand), and a couple generous handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese. 

Store and refrigerate in a plastic container that has enough empty room to allow you to toss the salad later. 

Pack tortilla chips, ranch dressing, salsa, paper plates or bowls, forks and a serving spoon.

Add the ranch and salsa (eyeball it) to the salad with some chips. Toss and serve.

The change up:
Make it a taco salad served “walking taco” style in individual Doritos bags.

Cold Pizza 

Bake your favorite frozen pizza or grab leftovers from Friday’s takeout or delivery. Divide among the 3-compartment Ziploc containers with fruit & veggies. 

Game Time: 
Pass out containers while the other bleacher parents Google the nearest fast-food place. 

The change up:
Use a different brand/type of pizza each time. 


Hungry for more tips?

Download the free guide: 5 Meal Planning Mistakes You Are Probably Making (+ what to do instead)