Between waking your children up, getting them dressed, and making breakfast—not to mention getting ready yourself—most moms have pretty hectic mornings.
Many of us also have to make our kids lunch, which takes time—time that could be better spent (calmly) making sure our kids have everything they need for school, or, you know, actually drying our hair.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can save yourself time and hassle when it comes to preparing your kids’ lunches. Read on to find out more!
Have a plan
You don’t want to realize on a Monday morning that you don’t, in fact, have bread. Know what you want to make before you go grocery shopping so you can make sure you have all the food you need for the week.
Make sure you know what your children actually eat
You might be thinking, “Duh, of course I know what my children eat,” and for the most part, you do. But aside from ensuring your child is eating healthy foods, you also need to make sure your child is eating, period. And this is especially important when he or she is eating lunch at school, away from your supervision. Observe what fruits and vegetables he/she will eat at home. Lunches are also not a great time to try out a new food; try it at home first and if it’s a go, include it in their lunch.
Make as much as you can ahead of time
This can mean the night before or even Sunday evening, when you can prepare foods for multiple lunches. See if you can take care of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s lunches on Sunday, and Thursday and Friday’s lunches Wednesday evening. It’s also a good idea to prepare their lunch before the dinner mess is cleared up; then, you can just clean everything up together.
Wash the fruits and vegetables you know you’re going to use that week, or better yet have your kids wash them. You can also peel and cut them. Your pasta and rice can be prepped a couple days in advance, too. Consider making sauces and refrigerating them until they’re ready for use.
Need ideas for meals you can prepare in advance? Try a hummus platter, cheese and fruit/veggie plate, and crockpot soup or chili.
Two and two
In order to ensure your kids won’t get sick of the same fruits and vegetables, plan two fruits and two vegetables in advance and alternate these throughout the week.
Know how to store fruits and veggies
Storage is key if you’re going to make lunches in advance. Don’t store your fruits and vegetables together; some fruits can prematurely ripen (and spoil) the fruits and vegetables around them. Before storing veggies, remove ties and rubber bands and trim leafy ends, leaving about an inch to prevent the veggies from drying out. There are more tips here.