I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve failed at packing lunch.
Packing lunch isn’t my weak point, it’s the planning and doing part. I have good lunch-packing intentions: “I can’t wait to pack lunch this week! My homemade yogurt is going to be awesome for Wednesday’s Lunch!”.
Despite the very best intentions, mornings usually don’t go as planned: “Oh no! Wake up! We’re late.”. And with that statement (which is more of a sleepy raising of the voice), I roll out of bed, take a shower, serve a super fast (homemade) breakfast, and rush out the door. Life is simply too busy to pack a well-thought lunch at 8am. Who’s with me? Please tell me I’m not alone.
Friend, if you’re raising your hand, I’m here to offer a glimmer of hope. But, not just hope, practical tips you can put into practice now to pack a healthy lunch and avoid the 8am rush.
Four Time Saving Tips for Packing Healthy Lunches
1. Make a Plan: A plan is essential for packing healthy lunches. Sit down each week (I prefer Saturday morning) and think about the week ahead: “What does our schedule look like? Will I need to pack a daily lunch?”
Then, it’s time to plan! Keeping a list of family favorite lunch ideas can cut down on planning time. Write your plan on paper or a calendar, listing the meals you plan to pack each day. There’s no need to be fancy. Think about meals that are easy to pack, such as: leftovers, smoothies or applesauce in Little Green Pouches, homemade muffins/pancakes/waffles from the freezer, sandwiches, or build-your-own Lunchables. Star or highlight all the meals that can be prepared in advance. Set aside an hour to prepare for the week ahead.
2. Stock the Right Gear: With the right gear you can prepare almost an entire week of lunches (and breakfast) without needing to wash and reuse supplies throughout the week. I like to use: a set of bento-style lunch boxes, Little Green Pouches (smoothies, applesauce, dips, yogurt), and sandwich-size baggies (cut veggies and fruit).
3. Prepare Food in Advance: Set aside an hour each week to prepare food in advance. Cut fruits (tossed in lemon juice) and veggies, make waffles/pancakes for breakfast and lunch sandwiches, prepare and freeze smoothies and applesauce in Little Green Pouches, make homemade gummies, and cook a whole chicken for lunch meat. Even personal-size homemade pizzas can be prepared in advance. Use your lunch plan to help guide your prep time.
4. Get to Know Your Freezer: Your freezer is designed for so much more than holding frozen fruit, meat, and ice. Freezing lunch-ready food is the answer to packing a healthy lunch in just minutes, without the worry of food spoiling in the refrigerator.
Sounds doable, right?
Taking an hour each weekend to create a plan, prepare food, and freeze extra meals can save stress and sanity during the week. Enjoy your coffee, shower, and breakfast, lunch is already planned and ready to go!