How to Plan Lunches for the Week

How to Plan Lunches

Back to school time has arrived. For the first time in a long time no one in our house is heading back to school this fall. Despite this, we know the benefits of planning ahead when it comes to lunches. Today we’re going to share some of our best tips on how to plan out lunches for the week. These tips aren’t just for those of you (or your family members) going back-to-school. We use these tips and recipes to plan and prepare lunches for work and travel too!

Keep in mind the magic formula for lunches: Protein + Vegetables + Carbohydrate = a filling and nutritious lunch. A whole container of pasta at lunch with leave you in a terrible place come 2pm – don’t forget to add protein! 

Leftovers

One of our easiest tips is to strategically plan your leftovers to make lunches. You can do this two ways:

  1. Cook more portions of what you’re already making. For example, my partner and I always cook dinner as though we are feeding 4 – one portion for each of us, and one portion for each of us to take for lunch. 
  2. Bulk cook to make lunches for the week. For example, at the beginning of the week cook several chicken breasts to portion out and add to a salad or a big pot of chili or a hearty soup that will serve as your lunch for the week.

How to Plan Lunches for the Week

Other Lunch Options

If leftovers aren’t your game, try making filling salads (add meat, tuna, beans, etc to up the filling-ness) or a good old sandwich. Both of these can still be made ahead of time so that you won’t be left scrambling in the morning. 

Snacks

Adding protein (think nuts, yogurt, nut butter) and fibre (whole grains, flax) to your snacks will keep you fuller longer. Some of our favourite options include:

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

Find what works for you and you’ll never have to buy a lunch at work again!

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Pecan Cranberry Granola Bar

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars

It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks, school will begin, along with numerous other activities, and time for preparation will cease to exist.  You can’t help but ask yourself, what happened to my summer?!  This granola bar is a great option to have on hand when planning lunches or when you need a quick and easy snack.

 

 

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups large flake oats
  2. 1 cup puffed rice cereal (i.e. rice crispies)
  3. 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  7. 1/4 cup honey
  8. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together oats, cereal and coconut in large bowl.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Wait for the mixture to come to a full boil and then let it boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Turn heat down to prevent it from overflowing, but maintaining the boil.
  4. Pour hot mixture over oats. Stir together until the oats mixture is completely coated. Here, you can add in the pecans and the dried cranberries to your mixture before pressing into your pan. Press firmly, so they don’t fall apart when you cut them.
  5. Place in fridge for 20 minutes, or until ready to serve.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

It’s only the beginning of August, but back to school is already on our mind. 

Back-to-school time brings full days, busy nights, and struggles with getting nutritious foods on the table and into lunch boxes. We’ve all been there, but experience has shown us that just a little bit of planning ahead will help you keep on top of things.

One of our favourite make-ahead snacks are muffins, and these whole wheat raspberry muffins are sure to do the trick. These muffins are a simple and delicious snack packed full of fibre and fruit, to help keep you fuller longer. 

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

We really like this recipe for a number of reasons. Fresh berries, when not in season, can be a fortune and this recipe works well with fresh or frozen berries. It’s also very quick to throw together and we include common kitchen ingredients. 

Look no further for your go-to back-to-school muffin!

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter or margarine, increase to ½ teaspoon)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1 ½ cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar, mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, or line your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time - beat well after each addition.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well. Stir in the milk and both the vanilla and the almond extracts. Mix till smooth. Stir in the berries quickly.
  5. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
Adapted from King Arthur Flour "Our Favorite Blueberry Muffins"
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

This back-to-school season we hope to bring you nutritious, time saving recipes that are sure to please everyone in your family! Follow along this fall as we share our favourites.

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