Back to school means back to making quick breakfasts and packing lunches. I don’t know about you but I’m not in to making these extra cute lunches or waking up early to whip up a big ol’ breakfast. I’m still somewhat new to the school game as my daughter is just going in to second grade, but I’ve picked up some fun hacks through Instagram and Pinterest that I think would help anyone!
This mama is not a morning person so I’m not in to getting up a lot earlier than my kids so for breakfast I need something quick and that they’ll eat. I’ve shared one of my favorite freezer breakfast meals in a previous post: protein mini pancakes. They are quick and easy and delicious. I grew up eating frozen waffles but did not know about frozen mini pancakes until a few years ago. My kids are excited every time I whip them out. They either get syrup or some peanut butter and honey on them. Either way they gobble them up. Egg muffins (there are tons of recipes on pinterest) are quick and easy because you can make them ahead and freeze them and thaw them in the microwave. Individual smoothie bags are always a great option as well. Toss the bag plus milk, almond milk, juice or water into a blender and you’re set. Overnight oats are a great option to make ahead as well and just keep in the fridge all week long.
Sandwiches Made Easy(er)
My daughter is somewhat picky and 3-4 days out of the week I pack her a lunch. Super fun. But I have found some tricks that make it go super quick whether I pack the lunch the night before or in the morning. My favorite favorite favorite hack is one I saw on Home and Kind’s Instagram. I highly recommend following her. She has great tips for everything.
The trick is to make sandwiches ahead and freeze them. It’s genius. For peanut butter & jelly you’ll take whatever kind of nut butter you use and put it on both sides of the bread and put your kids favorite jelly in the middle so it doesn’t get soggy as it thaws. Make sandwiches using the whole loaf and then slide the sandwiches back in to the bag the bread came in. Pop it in the freezer and you’re set.
The next sandwiches are on Hawaiian rolls. You’ll keep the rolls all attached together and slice through the middle making one big sandwich. I make turkey and cheese but you can make whatever combo your kids like. The rolls are sweet enough you don’t need mayo or mustard but you can toss packets in their lunch if they want. Cut them in to individual sandwiches and slide the whole group back in the bag and freeze.
This also works really well with bagels and cream cheese. The whipped cream cheese works the best. Slice the bagels, smear on the cream cheese and put back together. Once again, slide them back in to their bag and freeze. None of them need to be thawed the night before. They will thaw in time for lunch when you put it in their lunch in the morning. This was a game changer for me.
Another favorite lunch is protein balls. I’ve made tons of different kinds and they are easy to double or triple and keep in the fridge or freezer. Just pop them in the lunch box with some sides and they are set. My daughter is in love with these. They are usually pretty healthy and she thinks that she’s getting a treat. Now some people may argue this next item is a little stinky for lunch but my daughter has never had any complaints. I’ll make a big batch of hard boiled eggs and peel them and they are ready for lunches all week.
Another thing that I like to do is keep a lot of the sides that I will put in the lunch all together in the fridge. Our family faves are baby carrots, grape tomatoes, cuties, grapes, little pre-packaged cups of guacamole, cheese sticks, granola bars, and applesauce packs. This way they are all in one spot and either myself or my daughter can grab what she needs all in one spot. Another trick is sometimes I’ll buy fruit and veggie trays so then everything I need is literally already cut up and ready to go in her lunch box. Winning.
Hopefully these tricks help save you some time on those busy mornings before school. Drop us your favorite time saving tips!