This week, we’re not relying much on the lunch pantry at all. Kid favorite dinners that lend themselves well to lunchbox reinvention are going to make life pretty easy. The biggest thing to think about is ensuring that I cook enough additional portions at dinnertime to allow for quick lunches later in the week.

This would also be an ideal week to think about your future lunch stash — meatballs, marinara sauce, and pancakes are all good examples of things you could pop in the freezer for later. While you’ll be making these items anyway, why not consider whipping up an extra batch? It really doesn’t take much more time, and you’ll have some good stuff ready to go in case of a lunchbox (or even dinner) emergency.

Weekend Prep:

  • Prep starts on Friday night, when I’ll have to make sure there are extra pancakes available to stash in the fridge for Tuesday lunches
  • I’ll make another batch of whole-wheat tortillas, which we’ll need for Thursday night’s cheater scallion pancakes and Friday’s lunches

Weeknight Prep:

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The Lunch Menus:

  • Monday: Meatballs and sauce in thermoses
  • Tuesday: Pancake sandwiches with peanut or almond butter
  • Wednesday: Lettuce wraps using leftovers from Tuesday night’s dinner
  • Thursday: Meatball subs, leftover from Wednesday night
  • Friday: Scallion pancakes leftover from Thursday, or egg and cheese wraps using extra tortillas if the kids aren’t up for scallion pancakes

The Sides:

  • Applesauce cups
  • Yogurt
  • Granola bars
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Cheese cubes