Taking the angst out of lunch making

As summer comes to an end and we all have think about the amazing hiatus in lunch-making we’ve all had. Yes, nine weeks of no lunch preparation. Amazing! But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

Why do we angst over this task? Don’t we love feeding our kids healthy food? Why then does the task of lunch-making feel so daunting? Is it because we don’t know what to send, we don’t want to prepare it or we don’t want to throw it in the garbage when it comes home uneaten? I suppose it is probably a combination of all of these things.

In any case, since I can’t help you physically prepare your kid’s lunches, I can however offer you some tips and tricks about how to prepare healthy vegetarian lunches. Oh and know that I am thinking about you and share your pain.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help make the task more bearable:

Plan, plan, plan – each week make a list of the lunches you want to prepare including the fruit, vegetables and snacks. Add these to your grocery list so you have all the items on hand.

Keep a well-stocked pantry – have canned chickpeas, black beans or kidney beans and couscous, rice and quinoa.   You can find my Vegetarian Pantry list here:

Get your kids involved – ask them what they would like for lunch. For me, half of the challenge is figuring out what to send. If your kids tell you what they want, that’s one less thing for you to think about and they are more likely to eat it if it is something they asked for.

Ensure each lunch is well-balanced so kids have enough fuel to focus at school. Include the following:

  • Protein – tofu, beans, eggs, seeds or seed butter, edamame, hummus
  • Fruit – apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi – whatever your child likes
  • Vegetable – whatever you child likes, try to choose one that isn’t the same colour as the fruit so they get a variety of nutrients and it makes their lunch more visually appealing
  • Homemade treat – like cookies, granola bars or squares

For more tips and tricks and a full 2-week lunch meal plan, click here.