If you have kids, you know how stressful mornings can be! Rushing around the house trying to get everyone out the door at once often means that school lunches are made in a hurry – and may not be as healthy as they could be. A great way to avoid this is to prep school lunches ahead of time (usually Sunday night works best); spending a few extra minutes on meal prep over the weekend can almost completely eliminate that weekday A.M. stress.
With a bit of planning, you can prepare up to five different lunches and package them so that they stay fresh for the entire week. Here are our favorite school lunch meal prep ideas!
Lunch Box Ingredient Ideas
- Hummus or white bean dip
- Organic cheese sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Almond butter, Peanut butter, or SunButter
- Cottage cheese
- Milk boxes
- Organic yogurt
- Carrot sticks
- Bell pepper slices
- Cucumber Rounds
- Snap peas
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grapes (cut in half for younger children)
- Apple slices
- Orange slices
- Mini bagels
- Whole wheat pita bread
- Whole grain tortillas
- Snack crackers or graham crackers
Directions for Easy School Lunch Prep
- Make a plan: Choose the proteins, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates that you want to include in your lunches for the week.
- Make a grocery list and shop for the ingredients, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday!
- Sunday prep hour: Spend about an hour on Sunday evenings making foods ahead for your lunchboxes. For example, you might want to make a double batch of white bean dip, hard boil some eggs, and wash and chop fresh vegetables so they’re ready to pack.
- Each weeknight before you go to bed, take five minutes (or less) packing the foods into your lunchboxes.
Sample Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
The key is to include a protein, a veggie, some type of fruit, and a carb or starchy snack in each lunch. Here are some ideas!
Monday: White bean dip or hummus, milk box, whole wheat pita bread, bell peppers, carrots, fresh berries.
Tuesday: Hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, milk box, whole wheat mini bagel with cream cheese, grapes.
Wednesday: Milk, snap peas, mozzarella cheese stick, apple slices, almond butter, snack crackers.
Thursday: Cottage cheese, milk, carrot sticks, peanut butter, and banana tortilla roll-ups.
Friday: Milk, snack crackers, cucumber rounds, mozzarella cheese stick, orange slices, cherry tomatoes.
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