No Fuss School Lunch Ideas (Make Ahead)

These no fuss school lunch ideas and tips help my family prepare healthy lunches quickly and easily!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

As the new school year begins, I’m betting those of you with school-age children may be just the tiniest bit excited about your kids going back to school. Yes, the relaxed days and evenings of summer are nice, but the structure and routine that school provides can also be great for kids. There is one thing that I’m sure most parents of young children aren’t so excited about: packing school lunches.

As a teacher, I see first-hand how important it is for kids to fuel their bodies with a balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. When they do, they learn better and play better.

It’s not easy to come up with fresh, kid-friendly lunch ideas day after day. You’re tired in the evenings, and rushed in the mornings. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a lunch packing fairy who would sneak a healthy lunch for each of your kids (and you, too) into your refrigerator every night?

Since that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, I’ll share with you my best tips for preparing lunches for the week with minimal time and effort. These tips help my family to start the school year off on the right foot, because organization and planning are key to a healthy lifestyle.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Depending on the ages of your kids, their school lunches will look a little different. My preschooler likes to have milk in his lunchbox, and we love Horizon Organic milk boxes because they’re a convenient way to pack organic milk into his lunch. The lunchboxes pictured below are perfect for preschool and elementary school, as are the easy and healthy school lunch ideas I’ve shared here.

My time-saving strategy for making school lunches is really simple:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Make a grocery list and shop
  3. Sunday prep hour
  4. Pack lunches the night before

Here are those steps in a bit more detail.

Make a plan:

Grab a notepad and pencil (or your computer, calendar, or smartphone). Decide which proteins, veggies, fruits, and carbs you will include in your lunches for the week. Balance is important!

I love including Horizon Organic products in my family’s lunches, because they’re made with organic ingredients and my kids think they’re fun to eat. We especially enjoy Horizon’s organic milk, cottage cheese, and cheese sticks because they are great sources of protein!

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Lunch Proteins:

  • hummus or white bean dip
  • Horizon Organic cheese sticks
  • hard boiled eggs
  • almond butter, peanut butter, or sunbutter
  • Horizon Organic cottage cheese
  • Horizon Organic milk boxes
  • Horizon Organic yogurt

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Lunch Vegetables:

  • carrot sticks
  • bell pepper slices
  • cucumber rounds
  • snap peas
  • cherry tomatoes

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Lunch Fruits:

  • grapes (cut in half for small children)
  • apple slices
  • bananas
  • orange slices
  • berries

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Lunch Carbohydrates:

  • mini bagels
  • whole wheat pita bread
  • whole grain tortillas
  • Horizon Organic snack crackers and snack grahams

Make a grocery list and shop:

Now that you have your lunch ideas listed out (and hopefully your dinner ideas, too!), make your grocery list. Go through each meal and add the items you will need to your list. I like to organize my grocery list by the layout of my grocery store, which saves me time when I’m shopping. Be sure to check your refrigerator and pantry to make use of the foods that you already have in your kitchen!

Sunday prep hour:

Make a list of all of the foods that you can prepare ahead of time, to save you precious time during the week. Our usual list includes hard boiling eggs, washing and chopping vegetables, and slicing fruits like melons and oranges. Some fruits, such as berries, should be washed just before using for optimal freshness. We also make a double batch of our favorite easy white bean dip most weeks.

Pack lunches the night before:

Mornings are busy and rushed, so we always pack our lunches the night before. Since we’ve prepped ahead on the weekend, this takes just minutes!

To get you started, here is a week-long no fuss plan of school lunch ideas:

During your Sunday prep hour:

  1. Hard boil eggs, peel.
  2. Make white bean dip.
  3. Wash and halve (for young children) grapes, wash apples, oranges, and snap peas.
  4. Peel and slice carrots and cucumber. Slice bell peppers.

The lunches:

(Lunchbox pictured is from Bentology.)

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.comMonday: White bean dip or hummus, Horizon Organic milk box, whole wheat pita bread, bell peppers, carrots, fresh berries.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.comTuesday: Hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, Horizon Organic milk box, whole wheat mini bagel with cream cheese, grapes.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.comWednesday: Horizon Organic milk box, snap peas, Horizon Organic mozzarella cheese stick, apple slices, almond butter, Horizon Organic snack crackers.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.comThursday: Horizon Organic cottage cheese, Horizon Organic milk box, carrot sticks, peanut butter and banana tortilla roll ups.

Fast and healthy school lunch ideas and tips! These make ahead lunch ideas save you time and effort! | www.kristineskitchenblog.comFriday: Horizon Organic milk box, Horizon Organic snack crackers, cucumber rounds, Horizon Organic mozzarella cheese stick, orange slices, cherry tomatoes.

For even more fun meal ideas for kids, be sure to follow Horizon Organic on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

No Fuss School Lunch Ideas (Make Ahead)
 
Tired of spending too much time packing school lunches? Make a plan, prep foods ahead, and then lunches come together in just minutes! Choose a protein, veggie, fruit, and carbohydrate for each day of the week. A balanced lunch will is great fuel for your kids' learning and active lifestyles!
Recipe type: Lunch
Ingredients
Lunch Proteins:
  • hummus or white bean dip
  • Horizon Organic cheese sticks
  • hard boiled eggs
  • almond butter, peanut butter, or sunbutter
  • Horizon Organic cottage cheese
  • Horizon Organic milk boxes
  • Horizon Organic yogurt
Lunch Vegetables:
  • carrot sticks
  • bell pepper slices
  • cucumber rounds
  • snap peas
  • cherry tomatoes
Lunch Fruits:
  • grapes (cut in half for small children)
  • apple slices
  • bananas
  • orange slices
  • berries
Lunch Carbohydrates:
  • mini bagels
  • whole wheat pita bread
  • whole grain tortillas
  • Horizon Organic snack crackers and snack grahams
Directions
  1. Make a plan: Choose the proteins, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates that you will include in your lunches for the week.
  2. Make a grocery list and shop for the ingredients.
  3. Sunday prep hour: Spend about an hour on Sundays making foods ahead for your lunchboxes. For example, you might make a double batch of white bean dip, hard boil some eggs, and wash and chop fresh vegetables.
  4. Each weeknight, spend 5 minutes (or less) packing the foods into your lunchboxes.

 

Save

Save

Save

Like what you see? Be sure to follow along to never miss a recipe!
PINTEREST | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | EMAIL | RSS

Save

Save

Save

Save

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!