kids healthy school lunch, planning healthy school lunches

What food can I pre-prep on the weekend for school lunches?

Carol Harrison Healthy Leftovers, Time and Money Savers, Tips, Yummy Lunch Club Leave a Comment

My neighbour is back to work after being home with her kids for a few years and is keen to do some school lunch prep on weekends. With the rising cost of food she’s looking to avoid food waste too – a smart way to keep the family food budget in check.

So I came up with a list of foods that keep for 3-4 days along with ways to use them in school lunches.  After all, don’t you find sometimes the hardest part of making lunches is deciding what to make?

Foods that keep for 3-4 days in the fridge

Egg, salmon, tuna or chicken salad

egg salad, kids healthy school lunches

Kids love make your own anything


  • Send cut up vegetables for kids to make their own egg salad faces (pack with crackers);
  • As a filler for celery ribs or 1/3 of a bell pepper;
  • As a spread with whole grain crackers;
  • In wraps –Dozen Deli-Meat Free Wrap Ideas

Cooked plain pasta, barley, rice, bulgur, egg noodles, quinoa

Asian Noodle and Meatball Soup for healthy school lunches

Use cooked grains in soups.


Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, pork, shrimp, salmon, tilapia

Super simple school lunch Quesadilla

Use cooked meats for a head start on making quesadillas.


Pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, mixed beans)

school lunch, Vegetable hummus, sweet potato, beet, carrot, healthy school lunches

Add some colour to school lunches with vegetable hummus!


Homemade meatballs

About Yummy Lunch Club

Make a big batch of homemade meatballs to use in subs, pizza and soups.


Homemade soup

carrot soup ingredients, healthy kids school lunches

While cooking dinner on Sundays, get a big pot of soup going too.



Fruity coleslaw for healthy kids school lunches

Kids are more likely to try salads with added fruit.


  • Fruity Coleslaw;
  • Pulled pork sammy with coleslaw;
  • Coleslaw with fish/beef/bean or lentil tacos;
  • Add cooked chicken to coleslaw.

Cooked vegetables*

raw bunch of carrots for healthy school lunches

Cold cooked vegetables are easy sides for school lunches.


  • Soups – corn chowder, cheddar-broccoli or minestrone;
  • Potato salad;
  • Cold roasted cauliflower or carrots;
  • Added to pita pizzas – zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower;
  • Added to grain-based salads – couscous, diced sweet potato, canned peaches, pumpkin seeds and lentils.

*beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn on the cob, eggplant, zucchini, squash

Fresh cut up fruit*


school lunch fruit kabobs

Cut up fruit, kids will eat more. Put it on a mini chop stick and look out!


  • Kabobs – fruit-cheese or fruit-French toast cubes;
  • Fruit parfaits;
  • Fruit in grain-based salads: apple, lentil, celery and barley;
  • Smoothies.

TIP: Coat apples in solution of 1 tsp lemon juice and 6 tbsp water to limit browning.

* Apples, pears, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, banana.

What tips would you offer someone looking to pre-prep food on the weekend for school lunches?



Would love to hear from you!