5 tips to make back-to-school lunches hassle-free
A new school year is always exciting for the kids, but for most parents it is a juggling act of having to label stationery, sew names onto uniforms, cover books and of course, navigate the perpetual challenge of school lunches.
SPAR is all for smiles and that includes putting smiles on the faces of parents this January. So, The FOOD STALL at SPAR has put together these five tips to make back-to-school lunches hassle-free:
1. Plan a weekly lunch menu:
Spare yourself that dreaded early-morning rush by planning in advance. With just a little thought you can create a weekly school lunch menu and pack healthy, nutritious lunches, saving you time and unnecessary trips to the shops.
2. Shop with a list:
January is undoubtedly the longest month of the year and we are all looking to stretch our Rands as far as we possibly can. Once you’ve planned your menu, making a list of things to buy will help you to prioritise spending and curb the urge to buy unnecessary items, all the while reducing unnecessary food wastage.
3. Convenience is key:
When it comes to the key ingredients for lunches, convenience and waste reduction are important. Consider buying packaged snacks like granola bars, dried fruit or peanuts that can be eaten at school or reused for another lunch if not eaten. If you are a time-strapped parent, The FOOD STALL at SPAR has a Fresh Convenience range of sandwiches, wraps, rolls, sliders, meatballs, chipolatas, pancakes (and more) that are perfect for school lunches.
4. Prep the night before:
Sandwiches can be made the night before and still taste great the next day but ensure that those filled with a protein are refrigerated. If you prefer making them on the day then prepare fillings such as chicken, tuna or egg mayo in advance. A timesaving tip for lunch preparation is to also keep grated or sliced cheese and sliced deli meats on hand.
5. Freeze and feed:
Regardless of whether you prepare your own or buy ready-made Fresh Convenience ones from The FOOD STALL at SPAR, the good news is that sandwiches, wraps, and rolls (depending on the fillings) freeze well! Egg Mayo sandwiches, cheese and ham rolls and chicken wraps all defrost with excellent results. Just remember that frozen tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions, etc. go limp when thawed so it’s best not to add these ingredients before freezing. Many baked goodies such as muffins or certain leftovers like roast chicken make great sandwich fillings and can also be frozen, so make a little more and pop into the freezer for future use.
Set aside as little as two hours on the weekend (to plan, shop and freeze) and you could save yourself a week of morning pressure. Plus, by planning in advance, you can go from freezer, fridge and cupboard to lunchbox in under 10 minutes every morning. Worth it? Absolutely. Get down to your local SPAR and get shopping today!