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
- 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;
- Add cooked pasta or rice in Veggie-Cheese Muffin Frittatas;
- A lunch salad – barley, sunflower seeds, mandarin oranges and chickpeas;
- 5 Tips to Make a Hearty and Healthy Soup (add cooked whole grains).
Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, pork, shrimp, salmon, tilapia
- Fried rice;
- Make-your-own tacos;
- Super Simple Quesadillas.
Pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, mixed beans)
- Pulses in salads – Cobbs salad
- Pulses in wraps -Dozen Deli-Meat Free Wrap Ideas
- Vegetable hummus 3 ways (carrot, beet, sweet potato)
- Roasted chickpeas (toss in canola oil, salt, pepper & cumin, bake at 400°, 30 min.)
- Big Batch Veggie-Beef Meatballs 5 Ways
- Speedy Meatball Minestrone
- Saucy Meatball Subs
- Cold meatballs with BBQ sauce dip
- Fruity Coleslaw;
- Pulled pork sammy with coleslaw;
- Coleslaw with fish/beef/bean or lentil tacos;
- Add cooked chicken to coleslaw.
- 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*
- Kabobs – fruit-cheese or fruit-French toast cubes;
- Fruit parfaits;
- Fruit in grain-based salads: apple, lentil, celery and barley;
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?