Friends, we’ve reached that point of the academic year when packing school lunches every day feels like a *huge* chore. I mean, do these kids really need lunch every single day?? 😉 One of my secrets is doing easy meal prep for school lunches. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite simple tips plus a few pics.
We are a big meal prep household because our schedules are so busy. That means I do a lot of cooking and chopping on Sunday nights to make the rest of the week go more smoothly. For lunches, that means slicing veggies and fruits. It also means thinking ahead as to what bits of the week’s dinners would go well in the lunch box. Some weeks, that means saving a few slices of chicken when I portion out dinner. Others it means swiping a tortilla and making a quick quesadilla while I’m cooking other things. We also have a standard repertoire that we rotate through (which you’ll see below), so I buy bread, turkey lunch meat, cheese, his favorite veggies and a few different fruits every week.
Since my son is still little, I find it easier just to pack cold school lunches even though he has access to a microwave. We use a bento-style lunch box and have been super happy with it.
Oh, and one of the biggest favors I did for myself this school year was buying a second lunch box so that I could pack the night before instead of the morning of. More sleep and less stress? Yes, please.
My Biggest Meal Prep Secret
…is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. When I first started packing his lunch box, I was obsessed with color and variety. Now, not so much. I don’t pack the same thing every single day, but it’s ok to rotate through some staples. He gets a lot of sandwiches or crackers and cheese. I always make sure he has protein, a veggie, a fruit, and then fill up the rest of the container. We usually have a jar of pickles in the fridge and often include a small treat. I basically never cook *just* for his lunch, with the exception of making a quesadilla. The biggest secret, really, is slicing carrots and cucumbers on Sunday so I can just grab a handful as needed.
10 Favorite School Lunches
Here are 10 school lunches I’ve sent in 2018 that my son ate up! Full disclosure: he’s a pretty good eater, so I’m lucky there. And also, often these pics are taken in the dark, so I apologize for any that are poorly lit!
Want more inspo? I have a Pinterest Board for that!