Late summer: the air is humid, the nights are cool, and school is back in session! It can be hard to find time to make a balanced meal for your kid’s lunch. Here are 5 time-friendly back-to-school meal prep ideas to help this year go smoothly for your and your favorite student!

Breakfast Hacks ☀️

Overnight Oats

Need a healthy breakfast on the go? Try this recipie for overnight oats. Great for an early morning bus route!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt or additional milk of choice
  • sweetener of choice, as desired
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • optional 1/2 cup fruit of choice
  • optional 1-2 tbsp nut butter
  • optional 1 tbsp chia seeds, or add-ins of choice

Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a lidded container or mason jar.
  2. Shake well, then refrigerate overnight. 
  3. The next morning, simply stir and enjoy!

Click link for more details! 

 

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Squares

Is your favorite student a picky eater? Or maybe you want to cut out sugary breakfast cerals? Try this recipe hack to give them a breakfast they’ll want to have at snacktime too. 

 

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 2/3 cup applesauce or mashed banana
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup or more mini chocolate chips – I love Enjoy Life Mini Chips
  • 1/4 cup oil, nut butter, or additional water
  • pinch stevia, or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • (only if using stevia) 1/2 cup additional water

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment. 
  3. In a large bowl, stir all ingredients until well-mixed. 
  4. Smooth into the pan. 
  5. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top if desired. 
  6. Bake on the center rack 28 minutes, then do not open the oven door but turn off the heat and let sit in the closed oven an additional 20 minutes. 
  7. Slice into bars or squares. 
  8. Leftovers can be refrigerated 3-4 days, or freeze the bars to have on hand any time you need an instant healthy breakfast you can take on the go!

Click link for more details!

 

School Lunch Hacks 🥪

Ideas for Sides

We all love a nice PB+J entree, but what about the sides? Yogurt cups are packed with sugar, but not all kids love baby carrots. Scroll down for a list of fun sides to please even the pickiest snackers. 

Fruits and Veggies: 
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Mangoes
  • Melon
  • Cucumbers
  • Edamame
  • Snap Peas

Snacks:
  • Granola Bars
  • Pretzels
  • String Cheese
  • Cliff Bar
  • Fruit Leather
  • Popcorn
  • Crackers
  • Chips + Salsa

For more ideas, check out this link!

Kabobs: Lunch on a Stick

Want to spice up their lunch, but not too much where they won’t find it tastey? Try new ways of preparing your kid’s classics! (Fun for adults too!)

Just use smaller versions of your favorite sandwish combos to create fun-sized versions of your everyday lunch.

  • Bread? Cut the slice into squares!
  • Cheese slice? Cheese cube!
  • Ham slice? Fold it over accordion style!
  • Lettuce? Break the leaves into small bits!
  • Tomato slice? Grape Tomato!
The possibilities are endless!

Check out this link for more ideas!

Invest in Big Cookie Cutters

Kids get tired of normal bread, but they never get tired of their favorite sandwish in the shape of a dinosaur, butterfly, or a heart!

This hack is so simple! Just use a jumbo cookie cutter to create fun shapes out of sandwiches. Spices up their lunchbox, and gives you a small snack out of the leftover sandwich ends. Who could say no to a Minnie Mouse PB+J! 😊