Getting three or more people ready in the morning is probably the most stressful part of your day as a parent. Sometimes you may even forget to pack lunch for your kids or you might not even have anytime time to. Here are some kid approved quick lunches you can pack the morning of or get ready the night before. You can also cut some time by pre-cutting and storing some lunch staples like melon or carrots. Meal prep containers can be found online for quite a steal and they make bringing lunch easier and more fun!
Whole grain bagel with cream cheese and celery
- Early in the week you can pick up a couple bagels from your favorite bagel store or find them in the freezer section at your grocery store. Many bagels stores will actually give you a discount if you arrive late in the afternoon just before closing!
- Wash and pre-cut the celery for the week and keep it in a small container in the fridge for easy lunch packing.
Tuna sub and applesauce
- Tuna contains higher levels of mercury than other fish, so try to make this at most, once a week.
- You can also wash and pre-cut lettuce, tomato and onion. Store these in a small container in the fridge for easy sandwich making. They should keep for a week or more like this.
- When picking an applesauce, be sure to look at the sugar contents on the back label. Try to find one with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving and also be careful of ingredients that can be hidden sugars like dextrose, maltose, fructose and sucrose.
Fruit, yogurt and granola with a bag baked chips or pretzels
- In the beginning of the week you can purchase fruits like cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries. Wash and cut the fruits into bite size pieces then place them in separate containers to throw in a quick lunch box.
- Mini yogurts are easy to add to a lunch, but when picking the right brand be sure to pay attention to the sugar content as well. You can also purchase plain yogurt and add strawberries or blueberries to sweeten it.
- Find a natural granola that includes many seeds and uses natural sweetener. You can create little baggies to keep handy when on the go.
- Baked chips are a bit healthier than other potato or flavored corn chips. Sometimes they can contain smaller amounts of fat, carbs and sugars.
PB&J with carrots and hummus
- If your child will allow you, use whole grain bread and a low sugar jelly. Natural peanut butters have the most nutrition and least amount of processing. The whole grain bread is a great alternative to white bread, which is low in nutritional value.
- Keep baby carrots handy for a quicker way to pack lunch.
- Hummus is a great source of protein and can make vegetables taste more appetizing. Keep small snap lid containers filled with two spoonfuls of hummus and grab one to throw in your child’s lunch box.
Turkey sandwich, an apple and pretzels
- Use your favorite turkey or lunch meat on whole grain bread
- Wash and cut an apple and store in a plastic bag or container
- Pretzels are a kid favorite and make this lunch a bit more exciting
If your child is not the biggest fan of one of these meals, take a poll. Ask them what their favorite things to eat are and record their answers. Keep a list of snacks, main courses and treats. You can even break it into carbs, meats, fruits, and vegetables. Keep this list on the fridge and keep it in mind when you go to the grocery store. You can cut time by prepping most of the snacks in the beginning of the week and storing them in zip bags or plastic containers. So next time you are running out the door and you realize you forgot to make lunch, don’t worry because you have simple solutions that take a minute or two to put together.