Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Various bits of meal prep for the week ahead
Back to school means back to a schedule of preparing breakfasts and lunches and getting the kids out the door in time. On Instagram, I see a lot of (single) people who do a meal prep for the week. I can't even fathom doing that just yet, but as a step to save time and not rush around in the morning, I sat down and wrote a rough list of foods that the kids like for breakfast and lunch. The supermarket is right next to the school, so it's too easy to go there every day to pick something up. But I would much rather try to keep that to a minimum and get most of the week's food in one go. Just having the food on-hand, like fruits and vegetables is already a great option. Washing and preparing some vegetables in advance saves that extra few minutes in the morning. I still try to focus on whole ingredients (real food), rather than stocking up on the "convenient" packaged/overly processed foods and snacks that are on the supermarket shelves. Anything homemade, using whole ingredients has got to be better than anything made in a factory!

Check out my guest blog on Box Play for Kids for yummy lunch ideas for younger kids!

Fill your sandwiches with real foods, these are
mini-baguettes, so not too much bread here.

Personally, I don't eat sandwiches very often, and I don't like giving the kids the same thing every day. We've pretty much stopped eating ham and pepperoni/salami because of the sodium and fat content. Instead I fill them with chicken salad or any leftover meat that we have from dinnertime. There are plenty of meat-free options too, like avocado and falafel.

Breakfast is a bit more limited, even though we sometimes mix things up with Asian foods like congee (Chinese rice porridge) or dumplings. Last school year, I found I was preparing some variation of wheat and dairy every single morning, which is not a very balanced or satisfying breakfast. Now, I am making the effort to keep this to once or twice a week, and adding lots of fruits and sometimes vegetables to the equation. Opting for using homemade nut milk instead of cow's milk, wheat for oats or gluten-free flours (I use Trader Joe's for the pancakes, but it's a work-in-progress, so no recipes yet.)

Ultimately, to keep things super-easy, just make more of something for dinner and use the leftovers to pack a perfect lunch.

Now this is a balanced and substantial breakfast!
I love parfaits – layers of fruit, yoghurt and granola... 
it's like dessert for breakfast!

.. for breakfast
Pancakes  (GF/V)
French toast (GV)
Muffins (GF/V)
Fruit-Yoghurt Parfait
Oatmeal / Porridge (GF)
Spinach & mushroom omelet
Granola (GF/V)
Boiled eggs


Fresh fruit 
Fresh juice or a smoothie


.. for lunch
Chicken salad sandwich
Burgers or Meatballs
Fried rice
Meat pie
Any leftovers (pasta, soupcurry...)

Hummus & carrot sticks
Fresh fruit or vegetables
Granola bars

Thankfully, I have kids who like salads, a great way to mix things up with whatever is in the fridge, and get the greens in!

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