Save Time in the Morning by Pre-Packing Food and Snacks
Making three lunches in the morning is such a time suck and completely inhibits my ability to get those extra 10-15 minutes of sleep or time to shower, so to combat that I’ve started making my family’s lunches in the evenings. I’m sure you’re thinking that’s not rocket science, right? Well, I always run into the issue of not wanting to combine any cold food or snacks with room temperature things. Probably just a weird me thing, but I accept that. You should, too. Instead of packing everything the night before, I prep the things that take the most time. I always like to include fresh fruits in my children’s lunches like strawberries, peaches, apples, etc. Since my kids are little this means chopped up fruits. Chopping takes time; however, the nice thing is that if I chop too much, I am now ready for an additional day. By chopping the night before, I can bag those items up and put them in the fridge, allowing me to quickly grab them and put them in the lunch box with the required ice pack in the morning. I pile each family member’s items together and on separate shelves in the fridge. My hope is that this practice will benefit me when my kids are older and can pack or assemble their own lunches. A girl can dream! By keeping them on separate shelves my hope is to minimize siblings “accidentally” taking their other siblings lunch.
Snacks and food that doesn’t get refrigerated like yogis, and crackers or crunchies all are packed into individual snack size baggies. When I really am feeling on top of things I like to do this on Sundays and bag everything for the week. It saves so much time for lunches, as well as, regular outings. It even comes in handy during dinner time when my hubby doesn’t know what to feed our kids. He can grab one and I can rest assured that the portions are reasonable and he can be assured that it is something that they will eat. If my husband or I want to take the kids to the park, I can grab the necessary ziploc and we are ready to go.
I employ the same method with my diaper bag. I always have the diaper bag packed, in addition to requisite diapers, wipes and snacks in my purse for an unplanned outing. This keeps my stress level low and helps me to spend more time doing things with my family and less time wasted on preparing to do things with them!