We all have busy schedules during the day, whether it’s work, school or taking care of the kids. Getting a healthy lunch can sometimes be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Try a meal plan! Cook in batches ahead of time to have meals ready to grab and go or to keep in the fridge ready for when someone gets hungry.
Pick a day that you can make two or three meals to separate into containers. This does add extra time to your schedule that particular day, but you will be set with meals for the week ahead when you are too busy to cook and pack lunches.
In fact, on the day you are batch cooking, you can simply double the recipe that you’re making for dinner to use for lunch prepping. Then you only need to make one or two more meals to batch depending on what you need for the week. You can make ahead meals easily by choosing one pot meals or slow cooker recipes. You can batch cold or hot meals depending on your preferences and lunch heating options. Or, you can add heating or cooling packs to an insulated lunch box to help keep your lunches at the proper temperature. Making these ready-to-go meals ahead can be more nutritious and easier on the budget, and most of all it saves time when you need lunch in a crunch. MyPlate is a great place to find tips on healthy eating on a budget to make sure your meals include all the food groups necessary to keep your body full of energy!
- Fresh garden salad
- Pasta salad
- Chicken salad over lettuce or kale
- Stews or soups
- One pot meals
- Chicken, rice, broccoli
Find out more about how to plan and stretch your dollars with meal planning with these tips.
By Ela Bowen