Save money and take care of your family's health by preparing delicious lunches at home. Set aside a half-hour or so on Sunday to prepare lunches for the week. Get your children involved in the process so that they learn about basic food preparation and help you get the job done quickly.
Cut up salad vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and onion. If you like tomatoes, use cherry or grape-sized tomatoes, as sliced tomatoes won't keep for very long and will make your salad soggy. Chop lettuce or purchase bagged salad mix. If you plan to eat a salad every weekday and send a salad to school or day care with your two children, cut enough vegetables for 15 salads.
Store each type of vegetable in its own individual container in the refrigerator. Label the contents so salad fixings aren't confused with leftovers. Keep the vegetables separate until the morning before lunch so that their flavors do not blend together. Store tomatoes on the counter.
Pour a single serving of salad dressing into small plastic containers or zip-top bags and store them in the refrigerator or purchase single servings of salad dressing.
Set out plastic containers with tight fitting lids the night before school or while you're waiting for the coffee to brew. Invest in different color containers so each family member can have their own. Invite your children to select their salad ingredients and toppings.
Prepare plain pasta and rinse under water, mix it with creamy Parmesan dressing and then store it in the refrigerator. Add the pasta to the salad in the morning if you'd like.
Add proteins such as beans, cheese or meat to the salad. Prepare the cheese in advance by cutting it into cubes or use pre-shredded cheese. Canned tuna, cubed or shredded chicken and lean sandwich meats add protein.
Change up the menu a few times a week by piling vegetables and protein on top of bread or a tortilla to make sandwiches or wraps. Spread creamy dressing on bread, layer lettuce on top and finish with the meat and vegetables.
Items you will need
- Salad vegetables
- Cutting boards and knives
- Salad dressing
- Plastic containers with tight-fitting lids
- Zip top bags
- Lunch boxes or brown paper bags
- Cooked pasta
- Meat or other protein
- Bread or flour tortillas
- To prevent sogginess, wait until you eat lunch to add dressing to your salad or use the dressing as a dip for the wrap or sandwich.
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