Back to school is right around the corner – quite literally! This means getting back into the routine of packing meals for your little ones throughout the week – a task that can sometimes be daunting! To make the process a bit easier, here are some tips and recipes. Keep reading!
The most effective way to start is to plan out your menu for the week. As Alice Choi, Hip Foodie Mom explains, “setting aside an hour or two on a Saturday or Sunday will help you tremendously during the school week. Look on Pinterest, flip through your favourite magazines, or look online to search for recipes. Create a menu for the week. Once you have some dinner recipe inspiration, write a grocery list and go shopping. Feel free to get your kids involved too!”
Doing all of your meal-prep at once can be daunting – and isn’t really necessary, what I suggest is prepping your breakfast and lunch boxes the night before if possible.For example, setting up for breakfast before going to bed will save time and stress in the morning. As Jennifer (Jay) Baum, registered dietitian and family nutritionist at Pommetta Nutrition explains, “use the timer on your coffee machine. Packing lunches the night before also means that parents can enjoy their food instead of scrambling to get lunchboxes ready.”
If you’re looking for a new breakfast recipe to try, this is a great option (healthy and nutritious), and can be prepped the night before with ease:
Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Pudding – this breakfast that tastes like dessert yet is packed with fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fats! Customize with your favourite toppings, like fresh or frozen berries and chopped nuts.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp sweetener of choice (such as honey or maple syrup)
- ½ cup mixed berries
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
These Cinnamon Apple Muffins are also a great option and can be made the night before:
- 3 cups almond flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 apple, grated or shredded
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- almond butter, to serve
Moving onto lunch – I recommend opting for a few one-pot meals that can be made in one pot, pan, or sheet, as well as a few 10-20min recipes.
For example, you can prep these Double Bean Vegetarian burgers and grill them in the morning. The veggies or potatoes on the side can also be made the night before to save time in the morning.
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- ¼ cup onion, minced
- 3 garlic, minced
- ⅛ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg white
- 15 oz white beans
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp grill seasoning
- 15 oz canned black beans
- ¼ cup cilantro, minced
Here’s another great recipe to explore – this will make for the perfect Turkey Meatball & Feta Lunchbox and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.
In the morning or the night before:
- Combine your cheese of choice (feta or mozzarella) with halved tomatoes. Tomatoes are best halved closer to serving rather than several days before. Grape tomatoes can hold their own if they’re cut a day ahead, but not much more. If they don’t like tomatoes, you can chop up some pepper strips that you prepped on Sunday.
- Slice your cucumber. Like tomatoes, cucumbers are best freshly cut. The night before is fine, several days before is not.
To find more 10 minute recipes that will make for a delicious and balanced lunchbox, click here – these will seriously help you plan an entire week of meals in no-time.
After a week or two of ensuring your recipe ingredients are purchased over the weekend and having a solid idea of what your meals will be throughout the week, breakfast and lunch prep will become a breeze!