The new school year is here and that means back to a routine. Although this year brings a lot of mixed emotions and uncertainty, many of us are ready to bring our kids back to the classroom (keeping safety as a top priority). Back to school means it’s time to bring back out lunchboxes, and with it, meal planning. Yes, I am very excited with the idea of packing lunches every day (while I get to enjoy a quiet solo lunch!), but I also know in a couple of weeks I will be tired and out of ideas. So, in the spirit of making things easier, here are 3 quick lunchbox ideas that will be on our meal plan rotation.
Frozen meatballs are a live saver. They are easy to find and so versatile. They are great for a quick meal and easy to add to a pasta, rice and veggies, and my absolute favorite, curry sauce. You can prep the night before and reheat in the morning. Or you can set them in the toaster oven before breakfast and pack before heading out. Either way, it might take a little longer, but its a yummy, easy-to-prep option.
Now this is something that I send weekly. Unfortunately not because of leftovers from dinner, but rather because it’s something I can set in the stove while we have breakfast. The easiest option with pasta could be a mac and cheese, but I have the two weirdest children in the planet who refuse to eat this delicious cheese meal. So, instead, I do a quick pasta with frozen veggies and add top tomato sauce or a quick olive oil and salt. Quick and easy!
Tuna (or chicken) salad
Now, one thing that has made meal planning easy for our family is adding canned tuna to our menu. They are our go to when we are in a hurry and its definitely our youngest kid’s favorite. There are many ways to add tuna to a salad, but our absolute favorite is ensaladilla rusa, a traditional Spanish recipe that adds lots of veggies and potatoes all in one dish. I usually make the night before because this dish is better served cold. If tuna is not a family favorite, you can use chicken and it will be as delicious and easy, you can use rotisserie or canned chicken.
I hope these ideas help you plan your morning and make it easier for you to think about lunchboxes. For sides, you can always add cut veggies, fruits and other snacks your little ones enjoy. The most important thing is to make it less stressful for you and know that anything you pack with love will be very nutritious. Happy packing!