Hi! I'm Ang (short for Angela) and I blog over at Juggling Act Mama. I'm very excited to be taking part in the Back to School series at Here Comes the Sun! I'm married to my geeky high school sweetheart, and we have two children, Ethan, 4, and Olivia, 17 months. Since we both work outside the home, so I'm always looking for shortcuts and ways to spend more time with my family, while still providing good nutrition and fun activities. Now, I don't know about you, but I dread packing lunches every day. Trying to manage what a child will eat with what they should eat and make it all easy to transport seems like a daunting task every morning. Here are a few ways I make it easy on myself:1. Plan Ahead to Save Time & Money
On the weekend, I try to spend a little bit of time getting a few things ready for the week. Having even a couple of items that are ready to go saves time, and putting foods into reusable containers saves money, too. Portion out berries, grapes and cherries and chop your veggies ahead of time - small Take and Toss containers work great for these. The little containers don't take up much room the the fridge, and they're easy for little hands to grab in the morning to help get you out the door.
|Applesauce in lieu of oil makes this bread a moist delicious treat.|
2. Bake in the Goodness
My regular readers know that I'm in love with sneaking fruits and veggies into my kid's food by adding them to baked goods - especially breads. I refrigerate mine so they stay moist and fresh. Cut the bread into little cubes for an easy to eat snack that's tasty, healthy and easy to eat. Here are a few of my favorites: Zucchini, Banana, Strawberry, Sweet Potato, Blueberry and Apple. All of these recipes can be doubled then frozen after the loaves cool. When you need one, just thaw it in the fridge overnight and you're good to go.3. Steer Clear of Nuts
Our daycare is strictly a nut-free facility. This means no peanut butter or Nutella - two favorites in our house. No nuts can be difficult, but it's no problem if you pick up some tasty Soy Nut Butter or Sun Butter! Our son - the pickiest eater on the planet - will eat Soy Nut Butter in sandwiches or apple slices and doesn't know the difference.4. Make it Fun
|Ethan loves train and dino sandwich cutouts.|
Be sure your child's lunch box is adequately insulated and has enough ice packs to keep everything cool (a recent study found that most lunches - even those with ice packs - were not cold enough to keep food safely chilled).
These tips will get you started, but if you need some inspiration, check out my Pinterest School Lunches Board: