Back-to-School Lunch Plans You Can Actually Follow
Back-to-school time is here, and that means – for parents and caregivers – it’s back to preparing school lunches as well. While it can be tough to prepare healthy and nutritious lunches every day that your kids will like, it’s certainly doable. You just need to do some planning. And stick to your plans. Here are some tips for creating and following a back-to-school lunch plan.
Turn tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s school lunch. You don’t have to give your kid the exact same meal the next day, but use what you’ve cooked to prepare a new lunch. As a tip, put the lunch together while you’re preparing the dinner. This will save you having to set time aside to make lunches later on. You can even freeze some leftovers and use them weeks later, so your family will be less likely to get sick of what you’re serving.
Prep on Sunday Night
Use Sunday night to cut up vegetables and fruits, package up snacks that will keep for a few days, and plan for the rest of the week. Take a look at what you have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry and write your grocery list based on what you need and what you’re planning to make. Life is busy, so you may be tempted to use your Sunday evening to relax, but using it to prepare for the hectic week ahead might be a better use of your time. You’ll thank yourself later.
Try Fun Shapes
This tip isn’t so much geared towards saving time, but it’s one that could make your efforts more worthwhile. We’ve all had situations where we put together what we think is a tasty and nutritious lunch, only to have a child refuse to eat it. It’s certainly frustrating. One way to make food more appealing is to use fun shapes. Try using cookie cutters to make sandwiches for exciting, for example, or cut fruit and vegetables into stars, hearts, or anything else you can think of. Even using fun containers or napkins with characters or cartoons on them can help. This way the lunch you spent time preparing is more likely to be eaten.
Have a Schedule
It sounds boring and monotonous to sit down and plan out an entire week or month of meals, but it can really save you some time. Plus, when you know what you’re going to be making for lunches and dinners every day, this makes grocery shopping a lot easier. To make the scheduling less of a chore, ask your family members to chip in with ideas. Of course, you’re not going to make different meals for every person in your family, but you can assign each family member a day or a week and have them pick what they want for lunch or dinner that day (within reason). When you have a schedule, it makes shopping and preparing meals much easier.