The Working Mom’s Guide to Easy School Lunches
Weekday mornings are tough for everyone, but working mothers definitely have the most to balance. It's a huge chore to get the kids ready to go out the door and do the same for yourself. The details, like preparing lunch, can be overwhelming, especially when you're in a crunch for time. You want them to eat something healthy that will boost their brain so they can learn as much as they can. And you want to be able to show them you care by preparing it. But making lunches every day can be a chore and it’s not easy unless your kid is happy eating the same thing every day. Most kids want variety. You want to provide nourishment for your kid but also have sanity and save time, too.
Involve your kids. Depending on your child’s age, have them cut up veggies, grab an apple, put veggies in snack bags and pack crackers, you get the idea. By having your kid help, you are teaching them to navigate the kitchen as well as boosting confidence and knowledge. Also, let your kids come up with school lunch ideas, too!
Refrigerator. In one spot of the fridge have cheese sticks, salami slices, hummus packs, turkey pepperoni, pre-peeled and sliced carrots, drinkable yogurt, and push up yogurts.
Freezer: Have precooked frozen chicken nuggets and meatballs, and frozen peas, lima beans and corn. Freeze English muffins, tortillas and bread so they don’t spoil quickly. Freeze your kids' juice boxes so they can double as ice packs. By the time lunch comes around, the ice will have melted and your child’s drink (and food) will be nice and cold.
- Cook in bulk and ahead of time. Consider making extra for dinner each night and pack leftovers for lunch. Make hard boiled eggs and pasta.
Freeze a few “emergency” meals. For those occasions when you have a late night and have to scramble for a lunch the next day, consider freezing a few lunches that you can grab and go. Some school lunch ideas include: bean burritos, almond & honey sandwich, turkey roll ups, etc. Add a piece of fruit and a drink, and you’ve got yourself a balanced meal for your child.
Use “convenience” foods. I’m not talking processed or fast foods but rather easy and “packable” foods like cherry/grape tomatoes, pitted olives, defrosted, organic berries, clementines, organic grapes, and organic jerky sticks.
Get prepackaged “healthy” snacks: Olive oil popcorn, seed crackers, raisins, nut bars, peanut and almond butter pouches, dehydrated strawberries, fruit roll ups, and oven baked potato chips.
Add Lunch Notes: Add a smile to your kid's day by adding a sweet note in their lunch box. MyWish4U Lunch Notes from Me are always a hit which include a fact and a joke. You can also use MyWish4U’s Love Notes. Just keep the pads in the same spot and mix and match the notes. When you have time, you can always personalize the notes on the blank back side with note of encouragement, like “Good luck on your test.”
Keep it simple.
While homemade holiday-themed treats and sushi rolls are fun to do on occasion stick with your plan to stay in the game. Keep stress at bay by keeping it simple.