Save time packing lunches with these easy tips!

The backpacks are full, the lunchboxes are packed, and your schedule is filled with sports practices and after-school activities. It’s back-to-school time! That also means that it’s back-to-work time for many of us who are wrapping up the last vacations of the summer and are gearing up for the fall. We’re here to help you easily pack lunches and nourish your body this year.

While it’s easy to grab a granola bar, can of soup or 100-calorie bags of snacks, these foods will not provide your body with the vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to perform at its best. In an ideal world, we would have an endless amount of time to prepare our meals using seasonal ingredients from the farmers’ market. However, busy schedules and unanticipated events make this a challenge. That’s where freezing your meals comes in handy!

Some of the tastiest produce arrives at the farmers’ market in the summer so it’s a great time to make your favorite meals and freeze the leftovers for a quick lunch. Check out the suggestions below:

1.) Purchase bread at the farmers’ market or bake it at home to make sandwiches with all types of fillings, such as cheese, jam, nut butter, vegetables and more. It’s easy to slice and keep bread in the freezer so you can quickly make a last-minute meal.
2.) Who doesn’t love pizza for lunch? A kid favorite is to pack a pizza lunchable. Simply make your own pizza crust or cut whole-wheat pitas into triangles and place in the freezer. The night before, place the crust in the fridge. Pack with cheese, vegetables and homemade tomato sauce and your kid can build their pizza at lunch time! You can also make homemade pizza for dinner and freeze leftovers for future meals.
3.) Make soup in bulk, store in the freezer in individual containers and pack it for lunch during a busy day. You can serve with homemade bread or cook noodles the night before to add to the soup.

The trick for freezing lunches is to place everything in mason jars or plastic containers so it is the correct serving size for your meal. The night before school or work, take the meal out of the freezer and let it defrost in its container overnight. If it is soup or something that needs to be eaten warm, heat up the container the next morning and place the meal  in a thermos so it stays warm until lunch time. It’s that simple!

We know that it’s difficult to get back in the swing of things after a fun summer. Make your life easier and keep your body healthy by planning ahead so you always have nutritious meals available for you and your family. Don’t forget to pick up the best-tasting produce for these meals at the farmers’ market and maybe learn a few new recipes from our vendors along the way!