Five tips for constructing a weekly lunch plan

Food2 min read

Save time and make the working week easier with a lunch plan everyone will enjoy

Planning meals is one of the best ways to control the chaos of family life. If you stay on top of what your family are going to eat for dinner and lunch, you’ll find budgeting easier and they will be less likely to gravitate towards the unhealthy and expensive shortcuts of takeaway meals.

Here are five tips for putting together a lunch plan that the whole family will love.

1. Make a weekly lunch plan as a family

Uninviting lunches will be swapped, ignored or dumped in the bin. When you’re working out what to eat for the coming week, ask everyone to come up with two or three lunches they’ll definitely enjoy. Keep all the ideas jotted down in one place so you can refer to them in the future when you’re looking for inspiration.

Another trick is to have ‘theme’ weeks where you decide on a particular style of food. You could have salad week, soup week or choose an Italian theme and make meat pizzas with Hungarian sliced salami. Let the kids help to choose the theme and form your shopping list around it – you’ll find a lot of versatile ingredients can be used in different dishes.

Discover five more fun, and healthy, family rituals here.

2. Write it out

Save yourself from the dreadful feeling of standing in front of the fridge wondering what to prepare for lunch by having a written plan to refer to.

Use a whiteboard in the kitchen, a smartphone app or even just a piece of paper to keep track of your meal plans and make the morning rush that little bit easier. Read our blog on the best healthy living apps for busy mums.

3. Stock up

Preparation is key when it comes to having a weekly lunch plan. Once you know what you’ll be preparing, head to the shops and gather everything you’ll need for the coming days. Buy the family’s favourite bread, plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and some delicious deli meats such as smoked ham and Pepperilli to ensure every lunch is devoured.

4. Cook and freeze

Lunch doesn’t always have to be about sandwiches and salads. Make a batch of minestrone or throw together some yummy Mediterranean pastry parcels and put them in the freezer for the days when you don’t have time to do anything other than ‘grab and go’.

Cook a batch in one go and you’ll have several days’ worth of easy lunches ready and waiting.

5. Have some healthy ‘cheat’ options

If you generally eat well, there’s no harm in a treat option at the end of the week or fortnight. Include breaks in your meal plan for a canteen lunch or something a little more sinful. This will make it easier to stay motivated and stick to your weekly lunch plan on a long-term basis.

A little forward thinking can go a long way to save time and stress. You’ll be surprised at the creative ideas you come up with when you sit down to prepare a lunch plan for you and your family.

Click here to download our fortnightly lunch plan template.

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