Hint: it’s grown up lunch boxes.
My old “she’ll be right” approach to meal prep doesn’t translate excellently into maternity leave. It pays to plan ahead in parenthood. I imagine there’s not much balance to unshelling an entire family block of Dairy Milk to devour in secret, nor is snacking on baby led weaning off cuts sustainable.
Cold, unsipped coffee aside – as parents, we sometimes neglect ourselves in favour of nourishing others. But those in the trenches are in need of a well balanced meal the most.
I’m here to say to you fellow mums:
You gotta eat lunch, too.
(A fistful of Cheerios doesn’t count)
MINIMISING FOOD WASTAGE AND MAXIMISING YOUR TIME BY PREPPING, WASHING AND CORRECTLY STORING FOOD
When I get home from grocery shopping, I try to have some baby-free time or park Oliver in front of his lunch (or a well timed snack) so I can do some prepping. If we have plans for the day ahead, or even the next day, I’ll pack a lunch box for the both of us.
Then I’ll wash our fresh produce and pre-chop veggies/salads/fruit for the week ahead. I use a cupful of white vinegar in the sink to rinse off debris, pesticides and keep produce fresher for longer.
- Cos lettuce – slice whole heads up with a sharp knife and store in a container (such as a salad spinner) with a damp paper towel
- Grated carrot – this can then be added to bolognese, used in egg muffins, given to baby on bread or by itself
- Veggie sticks – thinly slice carrots, capsicums, cucumber and celery into sticks then store for snacks with dip (or without!)
- Strawberries – wash in vinegar then store in either a glass jar, the original packaging or a salad spinner
- Cooked chicken – slice cooked chicken breast to put into sandwiches the next day
- Boiled eggs – hard boil a few extra eggs while making breakfast to use as a snack
- Egg muffins – batch making egg muffins are perfect for grown ups and babies (allergies notwithstanding)
With these things easily accessible, I can spend less time making myself lunch (or just reaching for the nearest high sugar snack to get me through – I chomped my way through entire packets of Allen’s Party Mix before I discovered this) and I’m also a lot less likely to forgo a meal.
LUNCH BOX IDEA #1
- Sandwich or wrap with chicken, lettuce, tomato, grated carrot, sliced beetroot and avocado
- A banana
- A small serving of nuts
- Dark chocolate
LUNCH BOX IDEA #2
- Prosciutto and sliced fresh ham or turkey
- Hard boiled eggs
- A serving of grapes
- Veggie sticks and hummus or dip of your choice
LUNCH BOX IDEA #3
- Egg muffin/s with spinach, capsicum, carrot and feta
- A serving of strawberries
- Crackers and cheese
- A smoothie
LUNCH BOX IDEA #4
- Last night’s leftovers
- A serving of nuts
- A cookie or two
- A side salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
LUNCH BOX IDEA #5
- Leftover pizza or a quick homemade pizza with mozzarella, spinach, basil and tomato
- A banana
- Dark chocolate
- A side salad of sliced zucchini, tomatoes and cheese
For more ideas and recipes, take a goosey gander at the Who’s Your Mummy Pinterest! There’s also play ideas, lifestyle and Montessori.