I don’t know about your family, but by the time my kids and I walk in the door after picking my daughter up from preschool, we are all famished and ready to eat lunch RIGHT NOW!
It is so easy to fall back on the tried and true, (and fast and easy!) peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and while it’s not necessarily a bad lunch, I feel better if I’m able to offer my kids some variety in their lunches throughout the week. And by variety I don’t just mean turkey sandwich one day, grilled cheese the next, and by the end of the week we’ve basically eaten a sandwich every day, and gone through a whole lot of bread.
I realized that if I wanted to give my kids a healthy variety of lunches, then I would have to plan ahead and be prepared. Planning out our lunches every week helps me to not fall into the PB&J rut, and being prepared means that I make what I can ahead of time, or I start to prep lunch before we leave to pick up my daughter, so everything goes faster and smoother once we get home.
The first thing I like to do is to include some stand alone fruit or veggie that I can offer as soon as we get in the door and my kids will eat it while I’m making the rest of lunch — grapes, apple slices, oranges, carrot sticks, or sometimes salad.
This accomplishes two purposes: 1. Because they are so hungry, they are more likely to eat their fruits and especially veggies, than when I serve them alongside a meal and 2. It gives them something quick so they are not whining and hanging on my legs while I’m trying to get the rest of lunch made.
Then I can quickly make or put together the lunch I have planned and we can all sit down together to a healthy and nutritious lunch.
Here are eight of my go-to easy and healthy lunches:
What are your favorite quick and healthy lunches for busy days?