Easy lunch hacks for mums! Blog by Hey Mama Movements in house dietitian.
It’s back to work and school for most after an unexpected, enforced break due to the dreaded Covid! Back to work and school means back to preparing lunches for the kids and yourself. Lunches don’t need to be fancy and they can be quick and easy to put together, even for those with limited time in the morning. Try not to fall into the trap of ‘forgetting’ your lunch which inevitably leads to buying meals out. Not only does this quickly become expensive, it can also lead to unhealthier food choices. Not being prepared for lunch may mean that you skip lunch and end up snacking throughout the afternoon or once home from work.
Now, I definitely do not have glamorous lunch’s day in, day out. Ask my colleagues and they will tell you my go to lunch is a ham and cheese toasted sandwich and some fruit (tastes good and little effort required)! If I put a little bit more thought into it, it may stretch to a ham or chicken salad sandwich. Once I’ve made 2 kids lunchboxes for the day (and the husband if he’s lucky), I want something that’s quick and easy. I often have good intentions each weekend to do some meal prep but quite frankly with kids there’s not enough hours in the day!
But, there are a few tips you can try to jazz up your lunch meals (you may not get it done every week day but try and start out with one or two a week to get into the swing of things).
- Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. People often say to me, “there’s never anything left over!” Try and get into the habit of cooking a bit extra each night for lunch the next day. When you’re dishing up your evening meal, have your lunch container ready and dish it up there and then. No need to worry about someone going for seconds and one less job to sort in the morning.
- Cook extra vegetables (whether it be your greens or roasted vegetables) with your evening meal that you can use to ‘throw’ together a salad for lunch. Grab a boiled egg, tin of salmon or tuna (or shredded chicken if fish isn’t your thing) and you’ve got an easy lunch. If you need some extra carbs, stir through some cooked couscous (or quinoa) and you’re good to go.
- Another easy salad option, grab a bag of premixed salad from the supermarket in your weekly shop, these usually come with a dressing option (or take your own) and all you need to do is add your protein, whether that be egg, legumes, cooked meat, some meat/ chicken from the deli, or tinned fish or chicken.
- Wraps are another tasty option that can be quick to throw together, if you’ve got salad from the previous night’s dinner left over, use that, or grab that bag of premixed salad and your choice of protein. I find wraps are always best made fresh so take your ingredients to work and make it there (and bonus is that it saves on time in the morning).
- Finally, with the weather starting to cool down, a hot lunch is always nice. There are plenty of readymade soup or risotto options in the refrigerated section in the supermarket, most tend to be allergy friendly and are about 2 serves per packet. Grab one each week with your shopping and you’re almost sorted for half of your lunch meals for that week!