We pack our lunches every day during the week. Even though I’m a stay-at-home mom, packing a lunch helps me avoid snacking and I eat more balanced meals when my lunch is already prepared. Here are the 3 basic steps I use to pack lunch for my family:
Step 0: Pre-prep
Yes, pre-prep is technically a step but this work is already done when it comes time to make our lunches. I hardboiled & peel a dozen or more eggs, drain a can of beets, and chop enough fresh veggies for the week.
Step 1: Get EVERYTHING out
This helps me avoid opening the fridge 72 times while I’m packing lunches. Everything I need from the freezer, fridge, and pantry comes out at once. All the tupperware and lids I’ll need comes out at once as well as utensils (like spoons for scooping out hummus & yogurt, a can opener if we’re having tuna). This will take a few tries to get down but for the most part we pack the same thing every night and vary the ingredients from week to week so it’s easy to know what size tupperware I’ll need and how much.
Step 2: Streamline
I line up the tupperware for yogurt and in goes the plain, full fat yogurt with a little frozen fruit (blood oranges in the pic above), cinnamon, and nuts. Nora gets a mix of coconut cream, full fat yogurt, cinnamon, a little almond milk and oats, and usually fruit (canned pumpkin in the photo above). While I’m scooping oats for Nora’s bowl I add some to a bowl with raisins and PB for Dave’s second breakfast (yes, we eat a lot). Hummus and veggies are dished out and that leaves our monster salad. The protein, fat, and carbs we use vary week to week but in the photo above this is how it breaks down:
Protein: Eggs & tuna
Fat: olives, balsamic dressing (on the bottom so it doesn’t make the salad soggy), the mayo mixed with the tuna, and avocado. I put half of an avocado in our salads and leave it in the skin until it’s time to eat lunch in order to prevent browning.
Carbs: greens, bell peppers, beets, bok choy
Step 3: Put things back where you found it
When I put items away, they go back to the same location every time. This saves me time that would be wasted the following night as I browse our fridge shelf for mayo or dig through the freezer for the frozen fruit.
What tips have helped make packing lunches easier?