Q. I struggle with healthy lunches. By the time I get the kids down for naps I am tired and starving and don’t want to take the time to make a meal for myself. I’d love ideas on quick, healthy, easy lunches to keep me on track and to save me from eating junk I shouldn’t!
A. Quick and healthy lunches…I’ll let you what I do but my example probably isn’t the best so I’ll give you some other ideas too of things that you can try.
What I do: I run a day care and I am usually feeding between 8 and 10 kids at lunch time and some of those throw their food all over my floor. As soon as I’m done passing out the plates one of the big kids usually is done eating and either wants more or needs help getting cleaned up. My life is non-stop busy all morning until the kids have quiet time at 1pm. I totally hear ya on how you are tired and starving! Some days I am just going on adreneline to get to that 1pm time frame. By the time they are all laying down I just want to crash, grab a bag of chips or something to munch on and do nothing. Being a mom or taking care of kids is something else, isn’t it!?
I usually try to make a little bit more food that is necessary the night before so I have some leftovers for lunch. This doesn’t always work but I try. When leftovers aren’t an option I grab something in my stash that I try to keep handy for the days when life is just too busy:
- single servings of almonds. I buy these at Trader Joe’s and they are perfect to grab as a source of protein and satisfy that hunger.
- apples & peanut butter. I could eat this all day long.
- bananas (although I try to just eat one a day)
- string cheese
- frozen veggies that cook in the bag in the microwave
- cans of green beans (I’m strange and like to eat these cold…don’t send me hate comments on this!)
- tuna & mayo. I don’t eat much bread so I will mix this up and usually just eat the entire can along with some veggies.
- Eggs. I eat a lot of eggs…and usually put some cheese, bacon pieces, diced peppers and a little milk together and scramble it all up.
When I am on my game and actually want to spend some time in the kitchen with food prep, this is what I do:
- cut up fruit and put in containers so it is ready to go for the week.
- brown up pounds of ground turkey or ground beef so it is all ready to add into things.
- have containers of chili in the fridge ready to heat up.
- make up some smoothies and have them frozen in some bags ready to thaw out
- get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, take the meat off the bones and store in containers in the fridge. You can heat this up and put on salads for a little protein.
- find some veggies that you like, cut up and have ready for the week
Here are a few links to some other things that you can do to help get something in your tummy fast and easy:
- Salad in a Jar There are a ton of variations with these…just do a little Google search and you will be amazed.
- Healthy Snacking Foods
- 10 Filling, Healthy Lunches
- Lots of lunch ideas (this is for kids but you can eat them too!)
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