Mommy Sleeps In: Make-Ahead School Lunches

Make-Ahead Lunchbox Ideas and Tips

Last week, I took a new approach to my daily bento lunch prep … I made it all ahead of time.

Way, way, way ahead of time.  No more getting up early each morning to fashion lunches.  Nope, not for me.  I had the majority of each lunch made Sunday night.  My mornings were about sleeping in last week.

A whole thirty minutes extra, people.

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[exceptional-citing quoted=”featured-bento” template=”bubble-gray-round” date=”” ]In This Lunch: Corn Dog Cupcakes, ketchup, cheese cubes, apples, peas.[/exceptional-citing]

Corn Dog Muffins for a Make-Ahead Bento

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Instead of getting up and cutting out shaped sandwiches and the like, I utilized idea from the Momables* blog and their school lunch planning service.  I’ve been a subscriber to both the Momables newsletter and the lunch planning service for several months now AND I recently joined the team as a contributing writer; I’ve discovered great snack and menu ideas and — thanks to one of the best newsletters I’ve ever seen — have fallen in love with the creator Laura’s tips and glimpses into amazingly organized personal meal plans.

And last week, I finally mustered up the strength to try something Laura has recommended time and time again: preparing the majority (if not all) of your week’s lunches on Sunday.

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  • I made and froze my version of the Momables’ Gluten-Free Piggy Cupcakes (aka Corn Dog Muffins), pulling them out to thaw for a no-fuss lunch.

Corn Dog Cupcake Bento

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Momables Apples

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  • Inspired by pasta dishes from the Momables lunch menus, I prepared tortellini and stored it in the fridge, ready to go with a small container of sauce for later in the week.

[exceptional-citing quoted=”featured-bento” template=”bubble-gray-round” date=”” ]In This Lunch: Tortellini, Pasta Sauce, Cream-Cheese stuffed Pepper, Apples and Grapes, Annie’s Bunny Crackers[/exceptional-citing]

Pasta and Cheese School Lunch

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  •  Challenged by Laura’s mantra of saving time, I cut up cheese and sliced ham, making little kebobs and storing them (in air-tight bags) in the fridge for my own “30-Second Wow Lunch.”

[exceptional-citing quoted=”featured-bento” template=”bubble-gray-round” date=”” ]In This Lunch: Cheese and Ham Kebobs, Pretzel Crisps, Homemade Ranch Dip (in the polka-dot container), Apples and Strawberries, Cherry Tomatoes.[/exceptional-citing]

Prep Fruit and Vegetables Ahead of Time for Easy School Mornings

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Each day last week, getting lunches ready simply meant pulling the bento box out of the fridge, where it waited (partially filled with the more stable items).  Then, I added things like pretzels or crackers, tossed in the pre-sliced apples or threw in the stuffed pepper.

While I have always prepared some items at the beginning of the week, this was my first time to do the bulk of the lunch prep on a single day.  It was easy, freed up a minimum of 30 minutes each morning, and definitely erased the stressful business of wondering “What Am I Going To Pack Today?”.

Yeah.  Definitely sold on this whole Momables way of doing lunch.

 

{I Heart Lunch}

Time to share your lunch! What fun lunch boxes have you been packing for your family?

You can link to any kid-lunch/bento or family-friendly recipe on a blog post or via flickr photos — this linky is for any kind of healthy school lunch and kid-food, regardless if it is Bento-style or not. I want to celebrate our efforts to provide good and enjoyable school lunches for our families!

My only request is that you either add a link back to this post or include the Lunch Graphic (which links back) to your post so others can get here to view the linked lunches too!

Link up your school lunches and bentos! Please use a permalink for your post rather than linking your general blog/flickr account URL — this will help people go directly to your fabulous lunch!

I Heart Lunch - Bento Linky

Now — link ’em up!

*This post contains some affiliate links.

 

Comments

  1. Anja says

    How much in advance do you cut the greens? How long do you think they keep fresh in a tightly sealed container in the fridge? I understood about the apples but what about the carrots, cucumbers etc.?

  2. says

    We don’t need to make any school lunches at the moment but I like this idea to just pre-make lunches around here.

  3. says

    I never knew what Bento boxes were. For some reason, I thought they were about sushi or something! I need to make these for my kids!

  4. says

    Love that you can use those apples throughout the week with the addition of lemon :) I love eating apples but hate cutting them daily

    • says

      You are very welcome! You definitely ought to check out the Momables free newsletter. I never miss reading it — she always does such a fantastic job of giving ideas… it’s amazing!

    • says

      Ha — I totally forgot to list what was in each lunch, didn’t I? Yes, it is stuffed with cream cheese — my daughter’s favorite treat.

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