How about starting fresh in the new year with wholesome packed lunches for your little ones? My #1 trick for packing real food school lunches – even on those nights when I am feeling tired and uninspired – is making lunch items in advance and freezing them. I would seriously never survive this chore otherwise. And let’s not forget the importance of starting to pack lunches (or at least having a plan) the day/night before school. Planning ahead is key when it comes to cutting out processed food!
So, since you guys liked my first post on this topic so much, here I am again with a new and updated list of items to make and freeze for school lunches! Be sure to check out the original post for info on how exactly to freeze and defrost soups, muffins, etc.
10 Recipes to Freeze for School Lunches
(which will make packing a breeze!)
1. Whole-Wheat Lemon Raspberry or Carrot Applesauce Muffins
Whether it’s to accompany a serving of warm soup or to beef up a snacky cold lunch, my daughters never met a muffin of mine they didn’t like! And these in particular are two of their favorites.
2. Homemade Uncrustables
So even though my daughters don’t actually mind the crust, they still think uncrustables are fun to make and eat. Plus, the fact that I can make and freeze a big batch makes my life so much easier on some days!
3. Homemade Pieces of Pizza
Pizza that’s been made (and cooled) surprisingly freezes beautifully! And if you don’t want to make your own crust, you can cheat and use whole-wheat pitas. :) (P.S. That’s a Yumbox that’s pictured, and you can get 15% off with our “SWEET15” code.)–
4. Slow Cooker Potato Soup (recipe is in my cookbook)
This is one of our new favorite soups. I love how hearty and filling it is, and my daughters love that I put (organic) bacon on top. (P.S. If you use jars to freeze individual portions like I did, don’t forget to leave room at the top for the food to expand.)
6. Whole-Wheat Crepes
Leftover crepes are not commonplace around here, but you could always make a double batch for a fun surprise in a breakfast-themed school lunch.
7. Lunchbox Quiches (recipe is in my cookbook)
8. Whole-Wheat Bread or Cinnamon Raisin Bread
When you find a good source for bread, it’s a great idea to stock up. I divide loaves from Great Harvest into three or four Ziploc bags and freeze them. I love how their honey whole-wheat loaf is made with only five ingredients (whole-wheat flour, yeast, salt, water, and honey) and holds up really well in the freezer. You can always make your own too, of course!
9. Broccoli Cheese Soup
This soup is a great way to get a dose of green veggies. I sometimes even add noodles to it when I pack it in the lunch box, which my kids love.
10. Tortillas (Corn or Flour)
If I have a couple tortillas on hand, I can always use that as a starting point for a great school lunch. Whether I use them to make a quick cheese quesadilla or pack them along with leftover taco fixings, my daughters like Mexican food so much, they don’t mind eating it cold. :)
Bonus: I also love to freeze fresh organic berries in the summer to use all winter long to top off yogurt and add to muffins for the lunch box!
How many of these items do you already have in your freezer? :)