Written by Jana Angeles
It’s that time of year again where we’ll find ourselves lingering stationery stores, getting school uniforms prepared and finding the perfect fit when it comes to the everyday leather shoes that will inevitably get dirty in the first few weeks of the school year. It’s no surprise that most of us will skip breakfast just to have that five minutes to spare to sleep in during those dwindling mornings, but when the school year kicks off, we want to feel more prepared as parents to hand out the right tools to our little ones and this can all start in their lunchbox
Food preparation comes with love and care, so finding the right meals that promote a healthy lifestyle is a good start. Although it may be tempting to pack away some lunchbox ready treats such as chocolate biscuits, jelly and potato chips, it’s worthwhile slowly eliminating these and replacing it with snackable fruit and veggies. So, how can we make school meal prep and planning easy for us parents?
Keep Weekends Free For Lunch Prep
Keeping Weekends free for lunch prep is a smart idea because you can allocate time when it comes to meal prep for your kids. Getting the fruit and vegetable snacks can easily mean cutting them into manageable bite-sized pieces or cooking batches of food that will last for the next three days.
Learn to master time productivity by preparing lunch on the weekends instead of the night before the next school day. It’s satisfying to be organised when it comes to lunch prep. It allows you to be creative in the kitchen for a couple of hours, whipping up some nutritious meals for your little ones.
Allocate A Specific Lunch For Each Weekday
If you want your children to eat healthy, it all takes a little planning. You can buy a meal planner that allows you to document what your child can eat for lunch during the week. This will help a lot if they have specific dietary restrictions to follow. Choosing a lunch meal per weekday can help you know what ingredients you need to get to cook the meals. To cut costs on shopping, choose meals with similar ingredients and get creative!
Make Lunches In Batches
It only makes sense to cook in batches. Although it can be physically taxing to cook for a whole day, it pays off having to do it in one go instead of every night. This will save you time in food prepping and washing up. You can even have the kids involved to help you out with their lunches. Whether it means packing healthy snacks for their recess and passing on the ingredients for you to cut up next, making lunches in batches can be an activity that you and your children can enjoy on a weekly basis.
Know What Food They Like
There’s no point preparing healthy lunches for your children if they don’t eat them! It’s important to have a talk with your children on what food they would like to eat for lunch instead of winging it and preparing a meal they might like. Take into consideration lunch prepping if they have specific dietary restrictions and ensure that the food is manageable to eat. Sticking to simple recipes will go a long way, as long as the ingredients you choose are the ones your children love.
Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
Of course, sometimes we’re pressed for time and are not able to to do some healthy food prepping each week. Being prepared when it comes to buying snacks for your kids is paramount and the best thing you can do is to determine a healthy snack by checking its nutritional information.
Fruits with jelly seem like a healthy option but these are usually high in sugar, which can inevitably lead to a sugar rush. Fruit juices are the same, which can be a misleading purchase if you’re trying to encourage healthy habits from your children. Always read the labels before purchasing something and stick to all natural ingredients!
Overall, back to school prep doesn’t have to be challenging if you can plan efficiently. Knowing what meals to prepare and carefully buying healthy snacks for your children is easy if they like the food to begin with. Don’t feel the need to overcomplicate recipes or try and be over the top when it comes to meals. Always stick to simple lunches and you can never go wrong.