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How to use the Lunch Box Meal Prep Method…and save your sanity this summer!
Are you a stay(work) at home mom who spends way too much time in the kitchen getting your kids lunch and snacks? And, with the summer coming up, it’s just going to get worse! But, it doesn’t have to; let me introduce you to the lunch box meal prep method!
This is the best method I have found to reduce the most stress in my home every single day when it comes to feeding my strong willed, highly independent 3 year old.
I’ve been using this method for the past couple of months, and both I and my 3 year old loves it!
She even gets excited going through her lunch box full of healthy snacks and lunch; saying ‘you put this in my lunch?!’
No more struggling to get her to eat what I want her to, and no more going into the kitchen every 5 minutes because she says she’s hungry.
If you’re ready to learn this method of meal prepping, keep reading to find out!
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How the Lunch Box Meal Prep Method Works
In this method, you choose a few ‘main’ dishes for lunch (carbs/protein), a few different veggies (and maybe something to dip them in), a few different fruits, and a few different ‘desserts’.
Make sure you have everything you choose ‘in stock’ at home, or add it to your grocery list and make sure you get it.
Then, to help please your picky eaters, or non-picky eaters, let them choose one thing from each category, either the night before or morning of making their lunch.
I prefer having them choose the night, or day, before. That way I can make their lunch while they eat breakfast and not have to distract them from that meal. Since it can be hard enough to get them to do anything in the morning before school.
You can either ask them what they would like, or use a lunch box template to let them draw or write out what they want each day; just to make it a little more fun for them!
This is super simple to do. And, if your kids/family don’t care what they have in their lunch, then you can choose everything for them!
Why Pack Their Lunch if Not Going to School?
I can not tell you how much this one tiny trick has helped reduce my stress during the day!
My kids are 3 and 6, so I already have to do this for my 6 year old for her to bring to school.
But, I’ve found that making my 3 year old’s lunch at the same time, and putting it in a cute lunch box in the fridge, takes almost no extra time!
It has also reduced the amount of times she asks me to make her food during the day, reduced the tantrums when I don’t give her what she wants, and it helps with her independence!
I’ve realized over the past year that my 3 year old is a strong-willed child.
If you have a strong-willed child, then you already know how much of a struggle anything can be with them. The more you try to be in control, the more you’ll have power struggles with them every inch of the way! It could be about what they wear, when they have to brush their teeth or pick up toys, and especially with what and when they eat.
The lunchbox method helps with the power struggles, by allowing them to choose what they have in it (unless they are still very young, like my 3 year old, then you could choose for them). It also gives them the power to choose when they eat, as long as you don’t have time restraints.
Don’t Forget to Use the Lunch Box Method in the Summer!
I started using this method a couple months ago, and I already can’t wait to use it during the summer this year! (Especially with being due with my third little girl on my oldest daughters last day of school!)
It’s going to be a huge time saver, and sanity saver.
I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I will feel when my 3 and 6 year old tell me they’re hungry, while I’m nursing their little sister, and all I’ll have to do is tell them to go get their lunch box from the fridge!
Use it for yourself, too!
You can use this method for your own lunch, even if you’re a stay/work at home mom like me!
This will make life even easier on you, as you won’t have to spend time thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch, or spending extra time in the middle of the day to make yourself lunch!
I know when I worked outside the home, I ate so much healthier than when I started staying home with my girls; I didn’t have a choice.
I packed myself properly portioned healthy meals and didn’t allow myself to eat out when I worked outside the home. But, when I became the stay at home parent, that went out the window because I thought I’d have the time and freedom to eat what I wanted. Ha. This resulted in spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and usually less healthy food because I was already hungry when I went into the kitchen, and I didn’t have my lunch all ready for me.
So, yes, I do this for myself, too. Or, at least meal prep my lunch on the weekends so all I have to do is dish it and heat it up at lunch time, instead of spending a hour in the kitchen in the middle of the day.
I can’t wait for you to start using the lunch box method!
If you have little ones at home who want to, and can be, slightly independent, or have older children who will be home for lunches in the summer; then this is a ‘must do’ for saving your sanity, reducing stress, and saving you time!
I honestly can’t wait for you to start using this method everyday and making your life easier!
It’s super simple to do and set up, too.
Just remember the four parts to the lunch box:
- main meal (with protein and carbs)
(I have ‘dessert’ with the quotation marks because this should be a healthy dessert that still provides your child with nutrients, not an empty calorie dessert. Some examples for what I have personally put in my daughters lunches are; oatmeal cups, healthy muffins, chickpea cookies, date and cashew bars, trail mix, etc.)