This post has been sponsored by Reser’s Deli Salads. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To my fellow distance learning parents – are you struggling with what to make for lunch each day? I have found that meal prep is the key, and today I’m sharing my tips for prepping several days’ worth of well-rounded lunches, including family favorite Reser’s Original Potato Salad from Randalls. One of the things I’ve been missing with the kids at home this school year are their school lunches. Our school always had the best, well-balanced and healthy lunches, and if I’m being honest, the lunch at home is not always that. I wanted to change that for this school year, and since I’m also trying to balance working from home, I needed an easy solution. We came up with a plan to prep all our lunch components on the weekend and set them up in ways that everyone in the family can quickly serve their own healthy lunches each day.
Always remember to check out the Randalls mobile app for their weekly ad and coupon offers before your shopping trip, and check out this offer for Reser’s Deli Salads at Randalls:
Not just for cookouts and parties, Reser’s Deli Salads are part of a convenient meal solution for busy weekdays, too! I’m showcasing Reser’s Original Potato Salad today, but Reser’s Deviled Egg Potato Salad and Macaroni Salad are also delicious, and great ways to keep your distance learning lunch prep exciting each week. They’re also all made with no artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup! Look for the red lid in the deli department. These pre-packed sides save so much time. As they say, “More Taste, More Time, More Fun!” I am all for anything that can save me time these days.
Ready to get shopping and prepping? Here are my tips for easy lunch prep for virtual learning days.
Grab-and-go is key – make it a buffet!
Store the meals and side dishes in their own separate containers, then bring them out at lunchtime each day so the family can serve themselves buffet style. This saves you time in prep and saves fridge space (compared with distributing into individual portions). It also encourages accountability and self-sufficiency by allowing kids (and spouses, LOL) to serve themselves each day.
Side dishes that come in easy, resealable containers like Reser’s Deli Salads are perfect additions to your lunch prep buffet, as they take essentially zero effort on your part. Reser’s Deli Salads are packaged and ready to serve, no recipe or prep needed, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen when you’re trying to juggle it all… and parents right now are juggling a lot.
Prep your sandwiches to last.
Assemble your lunch sandwiches with bread, meat, and cheese only (no condiments or vegetables) so that they don’t get soggy. Your family can customize and add condiments to their sandwiches when they grab them each day. You can keep things interesting by varying up your sandwich types each week. We LOVE the croissants from the bakery at Randalls, so croissants, ham, and Colby jack cheese are a favorite for us, but here are some other combinations to try:
- Sweet Hawaiian rolls with ham and Cheddar
- Croissants with turkey and Swiss
- Rolls with roast beef and provolone
- Slider rolls with cooked chicken nuggets and mozzarella (leave a side of marinara sauce out separately for anyone that wants to make it a chicken Parmesan sandwich)
- Rolls with pre-cooked meatballs and mozzarella (you’ll want to keep some marinara sauce on the side for this one, too)
Steam your veggies for the entire week.
I am a big fan of using a pressure cooker to steam my veggies, since the pressure cooker is quick and hands-off. Green beans and broccoli pressure cook for only about 1 minute. I like to select two different vegetable options for each week so that people can mix it up each day when grabbing their lunch. In addition to green beans and broccoli, other veggie ideas to prep include corn (you can open and drain canned corn before storing it in a container to easily grab throughout the week), asparagus, sliced bell pepper, carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas.
Fruit is the easiest of all, so keep it that way.
Keep things simple and offer a bowl of fresh, whole fruit, like apples, pears, mandarin oranges, grapes, and berries. They will stay fresher longer if you don’t cut them, and it’s much easier for you. If your kids are young and have trouble with peeling mandarins themselves, I suggest buying a large can of mandarin slices, then pouring the contents into a storage container so your family can still grab their own fruit side dish each day.
What are some of your favorite lunch prepping tips?