Keep your homeschool day flowing smoothly with these simple lunch ideas. No need to spend precious time cooking a gourmet meal.
Your homeschool day is going smoothly. You got breakfast done without a problem, jumped into morning basket time and book work, and everything seems to be going well…until it isn’t. Because your brain has been so focused on completing school, you haven’t had any time to think about lunch. All of a sudden, everyone is hangry!
Being prepared for lunch doesn’t have to take hours of planning, prepping and cooking. You can keep it simple while still enjoying a healthy, delicious meal.
Homeschool Pre-Lunch Ideas
To avoid hangry kids (and mom!), allowing a small snack between breakfast and lunch can be very helpful. My girls typically wake up much earlier than my boys and end up having their breakfast a little earlier as a result. They typically need a small snack to tide them over until lunch time. If for some reason breakfast is a little later, we skip snacks so that the kids will eat their lunch.
Morning snacks are very simple. It has to be something easy to grab that I do not have to assist with in any way. Fruits like apples, bananas, and oranges are easy for the kids to grab on their own. Cheese sticks and veggies like carrots and celery are an easy grab in the refrigerator. Finally, my kids love fig bars and granola bars. We typically buy them in bulk at Costco.
I have found that my oldest daughter focuses on her schoolwork much better when she has something to munch on. Although she could make it to lunch, I would much rather give a snack that helps her focus and avoid the whining. It makes school time much more enjoyable.
Homeschool Lunch Prepping Ideas
I do not want to spend hours in the kitchen over the weekend prepping food. Keep it simple! Instead of throwing the bag of apples in the fruit bowl, go ahead and wash them first. Wash the grapes and pull them off the stems, or better yet, have your kids pull them off.
If there is something that requires some chopping, the easiest way to do it is prep a little each night at dinner. Most likely, you already have a knife and cutting board out, so go ahead and chop up a few extra veggies for lunch the next day. Doing small things that don’t take much time can actually save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Speaking of veggies, we eat a lot of raw ones. It is so easy to keep carrots, celery, sweet peppers and mini cucumbers in the refrigerator ready to grab and throw on a plate. Adding ranch, hummus, or other dip always helps my kids eat their veggies better.
And what mom doesn’t love an easy crockpot meal!? The kids and I love this crockpot kielbasa lentil soup for a super simple lunch. It is so easy to prep the veggies the night before while I make dinner, and then I can easily get it started at the same time as breakfast. The cook time perfectly lines up with lunch.
Finally, I absolutely love to make extra food at dinner time. Dinner is usually the meal I spend the most time preparing a healthy, balanced meal. If I can at least make enough extra for myself, that’s a win. Don’t forget about yourself! Keeping mom fed is just as important to having a peaceful, happy home.
Lunch On the Go
Packing lunch up for picnics, field trips, nature hikes, etc. doesn’t have to be complicated either. If the kids and I need to be out the door really quick in the morning, I like to pack the lunch boxes up the night before. That way it’s just grab and go in the morning.
I alternate the kid’s on-the-go lunches between cold pasta salad and an assortment of deli meat with fruit and veggies. The pasta salad is so easy to throw together the night before, and it’s delicious. Add in some fruit and it makes the perfect lunch. With deli meat, I always include fruit, lots of veggies, and cheese. You can also make this into a sandwich for the older kids to give extra carbs.
For myself, I like to throw a couple boiled eggs in my youngest daughter’s lunch box. I also grab a protein bar, carrots, fruit, and nuts.
Note: Another fantastic way to use your lunch boxes is to pack them up in the morning as if you are heading out…but really you aren’t. Once schoolwork is done, lunches are all ready to just grab and eat.
Homeschool Lunch Ideas for Kids to Help
A great way to lessen the load on your shoulders is to give tasks to the kids. Yes, it requires a little supervision depending on their age, and it might take a little longer. But at some point, your kids need to learn these skills. Why not start now while they are young??
Typical tasks my kids (ages 3-8) do for lunch prep:
- Building sandwiches with deli meat or peanut butter and jelly.
- Putting cheese and salsa on tortillas to make quesadillas. The older two (ages 6 and 8) can do the full flipping and cooking.
- Washing, peeling and chopping fruits and veggies with kid safe knives.
- Heating up leftovers.
I’m sure there are so many other tasks they do that I just can’t recall right now, or that are more specific to breakfast and dinner prep. My oldest daughter (8) is the most helpful in the kitchen because she loves to cook and bake. My youngest daughter (3) begs to help all the time, so I get creative with things she can do to help. However, I am really working on inviting the boys (ages 4 and 6) in to be helpful and learn skills too.
It is so important to remember that there will be plenty of messes made. They will need assistance a lot. But when you do not take the time to teach them, allowing them to be hands on, learning through trial and error, how will they ever learn? As their mom, it is your job to prepare them for real life as an adult. I would argue that learning how to do laundry, clean bathrooms, and cook food are some of the most important skills you can teach them.
Share some of your favorite simple lunch ideas in the COMMENTS.
More Posts Like This:
- Simple Homeschool Breakfast Ideas
- Crockpot Kielbasa Lentil Soup
- How to Put Together a Morning Basket
- Daily Rhythm for Homeschool Moms
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