As virtually any parent can attest, preparing school meals that your child will find tasty and have a reasonable chance of eating can be challenging (understatement of the year). This is a problem often exacerbated when working on a limited budget – or, at the very least, try not to waste money on food your child will be throwing away during school holidays.
Here are some ways to prepare lunches and snacks without breaking the bank.
When it comes to non-perishable foods, like dry snacks, buying in bulk can save you a lot of money.
A sarmie and an apple just won’t be enough for some kids. If that describes your brood, send home-cooked meal leftovers to save money on high-end meal prep. Every evening after dinner, prepare your children’s lunches.
As you clean up after dinner, think about what leftovers might be good for the kids’ lunches the next day.
Cook in bulk and freeze
In addition to hacking leftovers, batch cooking and freezing meals can help you save money on school lunches.
Buy reusable meal containers
Get rid of your single-use plastic bags. Buy reusable meal containers instead. This will save you money while reducing environmentally hazardous plastic waste. There are many child-friendly solutions available these days. Although these lunch boxes cost an initial investment, they will save you money in the long run.
Make your own juice boxes
Juice boxes for school lunches are another expense that can be easily avoided with a little forethought. To start, get a reusable water bottle.
Then buy several containers of flavored juice powders. Fill the reusable product halfway with powder and water. Alto! You have a cheap handmade “juice box”.
Want to save even more money? Instead of powder, use natural flavor enhancers like lemon, strawberry, cucumber, or whatever your kids enjoy.
Make your own healthy snack combinations.
Rather than relying on processed snacks, make your own healthier snack mixes, which can also be much cheaper.
Combine hazelnuts or macadamias and cocoa nibs, which are high in brain-boosting cocoa flavanols without the added sweets, to create a simple combination of nuts and cocoa nibs.
When there are offers, stock up on
Some of the few vegetables that some (more picky) kids will eat are carrots and celery sticks. These meals can provide significant health benefits when combined with a natural nut and seed butter.
Nuts and seeds provide short-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for brain development and are a less sweet but delicious “treat.” “. Buy fresh carrots or celery on sale and cut up a family batch of sticks to keep in the fridge for school lunches to save money.
Plan your meals with your children
When it comes to food shopping, shopping, and meal planning, it may be easier for a parent to make executive decisions on their own. However, involving your children in the process can be beneficial.
You can save money by involving your kids in lunchtime planning. Remember that it doesn’t have to be the whole meal. You can choose the main things, but let them choose their own fruits or snacks. This helps kids build culinary confidence and increases the likelihood that they’ll eat what’s packaged, resulting in less food and possibly less wasted money.