Healthy Family Project

25 Make-Ahead Lunch Ideas

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Collage of lunchbox recipes

I know that making lunch for us parents and the kids can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t stress about making lunches. These make-ahead lunch ideas can be prepped in advance for easy lunches all week long!

Mornings are hectic which is why I’ve always been a pack-lunch-the-night-before kind of mom. I’m less likely to forget to pack my boys’ favorites and am sure to hit all the major food groups.

While I can’t make every school lunch ahead of time, my boys do crave a PB&J from time to time after all, having a few make-ahead ideas up my sleeve makes packing lunches less of a chore overall.

Some of our favorite go-tos for make-ahead lunches include:

  • Pasta salads – Whole grain pasta, veggies, protein and an easy dressing are all that’s needed!
  • Tuna or chicken salad – For easy sandwiches or to pair with crackers.
  • Soups – Perfect for chilly days here in PA and easy to pack in a Thermos.
  • Recipes you can make in a muffin tin – Muffins, quiche bites, mac n cheese, wonton taco cups. Most hold for several days in the fridge and can be freezer-friendly. Plus, it’s just fun to eat mini-versions of your favorite foods.

How do you #PowerYourLunchbox? Show us your healthy lunchboxes on Instagram using #PowerYourLunchbox.

Looking for more lunchbox solutions?

All these make ahead lunch ideas are great for the kids. Since you can make them ahead of time, have the kids help on actually packing their lunchboxes. When kids are involved in the process of making lunches, they are more likely to eat what’s inside.

Don’t forget to meal-prep your own lunch! These are all delicious, easy and nutritious meal ideas, so that means us parents can enjoy them too.

Make-Ahead Lunch Ideas

Make mornings easier with these make-ahead lunch ideas.

Lesley Daniels

About the Author

Lesley Daniels

Lesley got her first taste for the food industry over 10 years ago at Heinz. Her finance and communication skills gave her an opportunity to explore many roles within their supply chain and procurement teams. Years later, she took her passion for creating and marketing food to Giant Eagle to source and develop their private label brands. At Produce for Kids, Lesley serves as the keystone between our retail partners and growers. As the mom of two daring boys and the wife of a passionate outdoorsmen, Lesley is always searching for healthy and delicious ways to fuel their next family biking or hiking adventure.

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