HEALTHY LUNCHES FOOD PREP
Watch the video and refer to your meal plan guide for food prep recommendations.
How to Prep Food Components
When it comes to food prep, I prefer preparing food components in advance versus entire meals.
The beauty of preparing components (such as chopped veggies, chopped fruit, a grain, shredded meat, eggs, granola, a particular main, etc.) is the versatility this offers you throughout the week.
- Cut fruit can function not only for lunch prep but also snack and breakfast prep.
- Cut veggies can be used as a snack, lunch component, and served in a variety of ways for dinner (to make soup, salad, roasted, etc.).
- A dip or dressing, like ranch dip or hummus, can be served alongside veggies and also used as a salad dressing.
Prepped food components come together to create easy, almost-effortless lunches and may also be used to reduce the amount of time it takes you to prepare other meals.
Food Prep Breakdown
Refer to the meal plan guide for all recipes and food prep ideas. You don’t need to prep this entire list, this is just to give you ideas.
- Ranch or Hummus: A dip or dressing may be prepped in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Use the dip/dressing for veggies, serve with a green salad, or enjoy with veggies or crackers for a snack.
- Wash and Cut Veggies: Think about which veggies you’ll serve in the lunchbox this week and prep them in advance. Peel carrots and cut them into sticks. Cut celery stalks into sticks. Store celery and carrots in a jar of water (with a lid) and replace the water every few days (learn about this method here). Cucumbers and bell peppers may be cut in advance and stored in a jar (with a lid).
- Cook a Whole Chicken: Turn on your oven and roast 1-2 whole chickens for the upcoming week (depending on family size). Shred the meat after baking and store in a container. You’ll use this meat throughout the week to make lunches and dinner. Alternatively, buy a prepared rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Wash and Cut Fruit: Think about which fruits you’ll serve in the lunchbox this week and prep them in advance. Apples may be sliced and tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning, then stored in a jar with a lid for up to 3 days. Orange slices may be peeled and stored in a jar with a lid. Soak blackberries, strawberries, blueberries in water and vinegar (learn about this method here).
- Cut Cheese Cubes: Cut the block of cheese you purchased into cubes or slices and store in a container with a lid. The slices/cubes are great for the lunchbox, as a snack, or may be used to make grilled cheese or quesadillas for/with dinner some night.
- Make Chicken Noodle Soup and Chicken Salad: Take the chicken you shredded and transform it into a meal, or two. Use some of the chicken to make chicken salad. And use some of the chicken to make chicken noodle soup for dinner on day 1, which will turn into lunches on day 2.
- Make No-Bake Snack Bites: Make the no-bake snack bites in the meal plan guide (see the recipes). Store in a container with a lid in the fridge. The bites are perfect for the lunchbox, snacks, or a dessert.
- Make Pancakes or Waffles: Make your favorite pancakes or waffles (or see the recipes in the meal plan guide) on the weekend. Double the recipe, enjoying some for breakfast and stashing the extras away in the fridge or freezer (in a bag). Serve for breakfast later in the week and also to make sandwiches on Friday for lunch.