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Sep
28

Breakfast and Lunch For Busy Mom

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Sunday nights are busy at my house because we do meal prep for the week so weekday mornings are easy and fast. Setting up breakfast and lunch on Sunday means you can worry about other things on Monday morning, like finding your kids left shoe, or their Chromebook charger. With food taken care of, I can get to working earlier. A lot depends on your kids personal tastes but here is what our family does for breakfast and lunch for school weeks.

 

Breakfast

I always have an assortment of cereals in the house – preferably not super sugary or marshmallowy cereals. Bagels and cream cheese, oatmeal, frozen waffles, and frozen cinnamon sticks are available too. But some weeks the kids want something different or it’s a test week and high-protein meals are necessary. Enter baked omelets. The recipe is so easy, mix a dozen eggs with some milk (or half and half, which my family prefers), add a little salt and pepper and pour into muffin tins until each cup is half full. Add in anything you like, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, spinach, ham, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, whatever your family loves in omelets. Bake for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees. The eggs will puff up as they finish cooking but will settle down after they cool. 

These microwave well and store easily in a large plastic container or even a zip-lock bag. When the kids wake up, they can place a couple of the egg muffins on a plate and microwave for about thirty seconds. You can make different egg muffins for different people. My husband loves pepperoni in his egg muffins but my kids prefer ham. I make one batch for each without a lot of extra work. I always sneak in a veggie, and as long as it’s not onions, the kids still eat them. Since you can make twelve egg muffins per tray and bake up to four trays at once, that’s breakfast for the whole week done in twenty minutes. 

 

Lunch 

School lunches may be convenient but the cost adds up and if your child has food allergies or sensitivities, packing lunch is the way to go. Making lunches every morning is a tiresome chore, try making all the lunches on Sunday night instead. Here is how we do lunch: 

  • You will need to get a few clear, space-saver bins to store the sandwiches in the fridge. 
  • Figure out how many sandwiches you need for the week. My house needs 15 sandwiches (three kids times five days). 
  • Lay out the bread you will need on a clean counter or table. Get creative and change it up every week. My kids favorites are flour tortillas or Hawaiian Sweet Buns (they make them in hamburger size or slider size). Sandwich bread does not tend to hold up all week like the tortillas or the buns. The options are endless for breads. 
  • Put condiments such as mayo and mustard first but only a thin layer as these sandwiches are for the whole week and no one likes a soggy sandwich. If you prefer, you can buy little packets of mayo and mustard and put them on the side to prevent sogginess. 
  • Next put the meat, cheese, and place any veggies such as lettuce or tomatoes on last. This order prevents sogginess. 
  • Meat choices are limited but cheese options can be changed often as can the veggies. My kids go nuts for aged white cheddar with ham but also love turkey with Colby Jack. 

We never make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because the school has banned peanut butter due to allergies. Please check with your school as airborne peanut allergies can be a life threatening issue. 

Most weeks we do sandwich, which I try to change up weekly but one week a month I try to make a crock-pot meal like cheddar broccoli soup or loaded potato soup for the week. This does mean you need to heat the soup in the morning and fill up their canteens, which is easy. 

 

Snacks 

We have a drawer of snacks packed on Sundays just for school lunches. If you prefer to buy pre-packaged options, that’s fine or you can pack up pretzels, chips, dried fruit, and an endless list of other options. We also always have a fruit next to the fridge or a veggie like celery or carrots in another clear, space saver bin in the fridge next to the sandwich bin and the juice-box bin. In the morning, the kids grab a sandwich, a juice-box, a fruit or veggie, and a snack to place in their lunch box, all in about a minute. Except my seven-year-old, somehow, she makes this quick chore last about ten minutes. 

I never give my kids any additional sweets for their lunch or school snack. A piece of fruit and a juice-box is enough sweet for one meal. When I used to add those little jelly fruit snacks or cookies as a special treat, the teachers complained the kids would have a major sugar crash after lunch. Try to limit the amount of sugar your kids get in their lunchbox. Trust me when they get home from school they will raid the pantry for snacks (I keep after-school snacks separate from lunchbox snacks so they do not empty our supply) or grab a bowl of ice cream after dinner. 

There you have it, breakfast and lunches made easy to save your sanity. Do you have any tips for breakfasts or lunch for school weeks? 

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