If you’ve been a reader of mine for a but, you know I talk heavily about meal planning. How to meal plan, easy dinner ideas for your meal plan and on my Facebook page I even do Live Meal Plan videos. But I haven’t talked too much about how I do easy lunch meal planning for the week.
Now I work from home with my girls who are 4 & 1.5. My husband works out of the home and he’s in a different place weekly. So we have a variety of factors going into our easy lunch meal planning. But today I’ll let you guys know what working for us now!
The easiest thing you can have for a lunch is dinner leftovers. There’s nothing my husband enjoys eating more. But, he doesn’t always have a microwave were he’s at for the day. So more recently I started meal prepping his lunches on Sunday and making him something that doesn’t need to be reheated.
However, he still takes leftovers from time to time. Casseroles are great, they transport well and reheat beautifully. Plus, there always tend to be leftovers with casseroles. So if you have one on your meal plan, use it for lunch leftovers. Obviously if you’ve planned to have them for dinner another night this week, leftovers won’t work for lunch. That brings me to my next idea.
Sandwiches & Wraps
Basic, I know. But they are classics for a reason. They are easy to make and take for lunch. This is what I eat most days for lunch. I like to use sprouted grain bread, turkey, a Laughing Cow wedge and spinach. It’s tasty, easy to make and pretty darn healthy.
For my husband, if I pack a sandwich, I prefer to use a hearty roll or I make him a wrap. I find that they hold up better. The great thing about sandwiches is that you can pack an ice pack with it and then they’re ready to go whenever. No need for a microwave or refrigerator.
You can get a lot of veggies in a wrap so that’s another perk of having one for lunch. Spinach, cucumber, carrots and even KALE have been snuck into my husbands lunch before in the form of a wrap. I like to use the spinach ones at Aldi and I also love grabbing one of their bagged salads to use for a veggies filling. They are already chopped and ready to go! Check out my BBQ Chicken Wrap to see what I mean!
Planning for Kids
Lunch is the meal where my kids eat best. I like to keep our lunch options simple but luckily my kids aren’t in school full-time yet so I don’t have to pack their lunch. You can check out a bunch of kid lunch ideas here. If you guys would like me to document more of what my kids eat, just let me know in the comments below and I’d be happy to.
Typically my kids rotate through the following things for lunch: PB&J, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, nuggets, leftovers and turkey and cheese sandwich. I don’t try to get creative with their lunches. Because A. I don’t like wasting the energy on it and B. I know they will eat these things and I’m fine with it.
With the main dish I always serve a fruit and veggie. My kids eat mos fruits and the veggies they like are raw carrots & bell peppers, cooked broccoli or mixed veggies. While it’s not a wide array, it’s still healthy so I’m not going to battle them about it. I offer them new veggies at dinner all the time but for lunch, I like to stick to the tried and true.
Keep It Simple
At the end of the day, simplicity is key when it comes to easy lunch meal planning. We stick to a few things and rotate through them. I cook every single meal we eat so I’m not trying to cook a masterpiece at lunch everyday. If you feel like main the same thing for lunch everyday and your family isn’t complaining (heck even if they are) then continue to do that. No need to reinvent the wheel!
Write out the lunches your family likes best and then use that as a guide when you wrote your meal plan. I always jot down what we plan on having for lunch that week so I don’t forget any of the ingredients on the shopping list. Remember, if you don’t write it down, you’re going to forget!
If you grab my FREE Meal Planning Guide you will see on the weekly printable there is a spot for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Even if you make the same things every week, I find it useful to jot them down. Sure you might remember but why risk forgetting to grab pancake mix or bread because it wasn’t on the list. (I’ve personally done both of those things😐)
Taran is a self-proclaimed undomestic mom. She thrives as a stay-at-home-mom by consistently carving out time for herself and practicing realistic self-care. As a busy mom of 3, she knows that if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! With a focus on how SAHMs can carve out time for themselves everyday, she teaches fellow SAHMs how they can do the same.