Want to make the mornings a little less hectic? Preparing lunch for your favorite student(s) doesn’t have to be confined to the rushed PB&J. Follow these simple hacks to ensure making lunch for the day isn’t a cause for worry—or a sacrifice to nutrition.
Slice up vegetables the night before
Keeping these ready to serve veggies in a separate container will make it easy to find and toss into your child’s lunch as a healthy side. Take advantage of the Country Market in downtown Oswego to stock up on your favorites!
Section and portion their favorite dip
A simple way to eliminate stress and mess is to consolidate your child’s favorite dipping sauce—be it ranch, honey, etc.—in ready to grab containers. Not only will this make a snack or side more complete, it’ll also save you the hassle of arranging every morning.
Set aside last night’s dinner for tomorrow’s lunch
While many students do not have access to a microwave during their cafeteria hours, leftovers like pizza, rotisserie chicken or turkey on bread, and pasta salad do nice chilled or at room temperature. When cleaning up the night before, save yourself some time by portioning some into a separate container for your kids to take the next day.
Buy your fruit on Sunday
Both fruits and veggies are perishable after a certain amount of time, so buy these early in the week to set aside for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Hint, hint: (The country market!)
Designate a corner of the pantry/fridge as the ‘lunch corner’
Kids snack—even when we’re not looking. That includes after school and on the weekends. It can be easy, then, for your store of lunch items to get low or go missing before you know it. Create a section of your pantry or fridge specifically for school-lunch items—granola bars, string cheese, applesauce, packaged apple slices, nuts—and enforce a strict ‘do not grab’ rule. Not only will you have a stash of pre-approved items to pack while you prep (or even on hurried mornings), you’ll also remain organized and save some cash along the way.
Make a batch of hard-boiled eggs
These protein-packed bites can be hit-or-miss with young ones in terms of taste, but if your student loves them count yourself lucky—they are a perfect option for a healthy lunch piece that will keep your kid full and healthy.
Bake a batch of sweet potato fries
Sweet potatoes contain high fiber and VitaminB6 and are a tasty alternative to the potato chip. Baking them with coconut oil on a Sunday night means this healthy side dish is ready to be packed away in your child’s lunch on Monday. P.S.—they’re great for your dog, too!
Split a bag of popcorn 3 ways
Have more than one kid? Popping a bag of popcorn on a school night and sealing the contents in individual baggies is not only a great snack or lunch addition—it’s also great if you have more than one mouth to feed at lunchtime.
Create your own charcuterie-esque display
Take your child’s favorite cheese (either pre or hand-cut) and place a few pieces on a slice of turkey meat. Roll them up into cylinder-like shapes and place within a bento container in their lunchbox. Yum!