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Lunch-packing shortcuts for super-busy moms

By Nicci Micco, August 31, 2010 - 12:08pm

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Nicci asks: What are your time-saving solutions to packing a healthy kids’ lunch?


Well, I don't have little children at home anymore. We are down to 2 seniors and 1 teenager. I do pack lunches for my husband that are for more than 1 day. I 2-3 make sandwiches or rolled tortillas a couple days ahead by making sure the lettuce in between 2 pieces of meat and the cheese is next to the bread. I usually try to always pack the night before. He can then choose the sides that he wants. I prepare things like unsweetened applesauce, homemade chocolate milk, puddings and jello, herbal teas, reusable bottled water, etc. We also make use of leftovers and pizza from the night before to give variety. Pizza also makes a good meal for fussy teens, we don't get the thick or cheese-stuffed because of the added calories and fat. Reusable plastics are great for modest portions of pretzles, chips or one cupcake that won't get mashed.


09/15/2010 - 10:58am

We are a vegetarian family, my kids are in middle school and thankfully they are not picky eaters. I make sure I always have homemade hummus or bean spread and whole wheat tortillas on hand. I spread hummus on the tortillas, add some veggies or leftover undressed salad, and a little cheese and we're good to go. I try to make them with a little ethnic flair - Greek, Italian, Mexican, Asian, etc with a drizzle of salad dressing, plain yogurt, or a pinch of herbs. I can always find something in the fridge to make into a wrap - my kids love almond butter or Nutella and fruit (now THAT'S a PBJ!)


09/14/2010 - 5:34pm

Thank you Nicci. It is always helpful to hear what others do. My night sounds a lot like yours, except my kids won't eat spinach!


08/31/2010 - 10:41pm

You can find info about where to buy the bento lunchboxes here:


08/31/2010 - 4:59pm

If I buy a bag of healthier choice (baked chips). I open the bag and put them all in smaller bags. Than they have the portion they and I need for our lunches and they just grab a bag and throw into their lunch box. My biggest time saver is teaching them to pack their own lunches. They have been taught to have a variety and they do get a snack but they throw in healthy choices also.


08/31/2010 - 4:56pm

I roast a whole chicken in the weekend and freeze slices of the breast that can go as cold chicken for school lunch. I clean and prepare an assortment of veggies and fruits and package them ready to go in the lunch box. I alternate dairy and pack just one of these: milk, cheese or yogurt. I cut cheese in cubes in advance. Make little chicken or bison meatballs that are nice cold as well, or a hard boiled egg for protein. My daughter told me several times that she is glad I am making her lunch!


08/31/2010 - 4:16pm

Love the bento lunch box that is shown in the picture. Where can we buy that?


08/31/2010 - 3:19pm

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