Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back To School Tip for Quick Lunch Box Prep!

My kids started back to school this week and as usual it has been off to a crazy start!  I have two school age children and two that are still at home so everyday is an adventure and we are always busy.  I spend about an hour on Sundays prepping lunch items for the week so that packing them up is quick and easy each night (or in the morning if we forget the night before).  It literally takes me 60 seconds to throw together a lunch for my kids each day!  Here are my two tips for quick lunch box prep:

 Have a snack box!  We have a picnic basket in our pantry that is full of lunch box snacks.  I open the boxes and place the individual packs inside the basket or put them into snack size baggies so it's quick and easy to grab a snack!  This is also great when your heading out the door and need to grab snacks for the diaper bag.         Here are some of the items we have in our snack box:

  • KIND Bars
  • Goldfish
  • Raisins
  • Stretch Island Fruit Leathers
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Larabar
  • SunRipe Fruit Strips
  • Pretzels
  • Almonds

We use a similar concept for fruits and veggies.  I put a veggie and a fruit in their lunch each day and it is much easier to have them washed, bagged and ready to go than to prep it each morning!  This week we had baby carrots. celery, cherries, and grapes.  Other easy options are strawberries, melon, apple slices, olives, zucchini slices, kiwi, corn (cook and cool), and avocado slices.  If your kids like to dip theirs you can send a little cup of hummus or greek yogurt for a healthy option!

I try to keep my kids' lunches as healthy as possible on a budget.  Here is an idea of what we pack for under $2 per lunch:

PB&J Sandwich (Make ahead and freeze - you can use almond butter for a more nutritious option if your kids will eat it) or Grilled Chicken with Pita Bread

Babybel Cheese Wheel or yogurt

One Fruit

One Veggie

Juice Box or Water Bottle

One Snack

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