Meal Prep for Busy Homeschool Moms

Nobody told me that the most expensive part of homeschooling would be the food! If you’re finding homeschool lunches to be the hardest part of the day, you’re in good company. Lunches can be a real challenge for me. 

Meal planning and prepping on Sundays, before the week begins, has been a big help in managing this homeschooling challenge. When everything is already planned and prepared, we don’t have to stop lessons for food. 

Preparing ahead of time has helped me to make healthier choices for my lunches too. If you’re unsure how to get started, keep reading to discover our favorite homeschool lunch prep ideas for kids and parents too. 

Homeschool Life Is Busy!

Homeschool life is busy. Our days are filled with family walks, read alouds, and game nights just to name a few. With everything we have going on each day, it’s easy to find myself battling genuine decision fatigue. 

Our homeschool routine is flexible, but it’s full of activity! We begin the day with strewing, move to morning baskets, and then it’s time for table time activities. That’s all before lunch. 

No one tells you how quickly the homeschool day goes by. When we think about homeschooling, we tend to think things will slow down, but the truth is that our homeschool life can be very busy. After planning and implementing everything, meal prep feels like a real challenge!

Planning And Prepping Meals For Your Homeschool Day

Another thing no one tells you about is all the food. Second and third breakfasts are a real thing when you’re homeschooling!  Prepping meals and snacks can feel neverending for homeschooling moms. 

Planning and prepping meals for your homeschool day can make a big difference in your routine. When meals and snacks are prepped in the fridge or pantry, it’s easy for kids to grab and go whenever they’re feeling hungry. If you’re like us, meal times can vary a lot!

Having quick and easy meals already prepared, saves time and energy on busy homeschool days. Another reason I love planning and prepping meals in advance is because its easier to choose healthy meals and snacks if I don’t have to spend lots of time preparing them in the middle of a busy day.

Meal Prep Ideas For The Kids

There are so many fun meal prep ideas for kids to enjoy throughout the week! Because decision fatigue is real and homeschool life is busy, I’m going to share some of our favorite meal prep ideas below.

Lunches are the hardest meal of the day. We are all hungry at different times and I’m often in the middle of teaching when Emily gets hungry. Sometimes I forget to eat or decide to eat something unhealthy because I don’t want to stop lessons again. 

Since I’ve started meal prepping for the week on Sundays, our homeschool days run more smoothly. I give Emily two different options for lunches. She loves snacking and grazing, so I set up lunch boxes she can grab filled with food that’s ready to go and easy to eat. 

Emily knows where the lunches and snacks are, they’re quick and accessible, so it doesn’t interrupt our homeschool day. I always make sure there are fruits, vegetables, and something fun in her lunch boxes. Check out some of our favorite ideas below.

Build a Pizza

I usually choose two different kinds of lunches to pack for the week. If Emily’s in the mood for pizza, I prepare lunches where she can make a pizza with naan rounds or pitas, marinara, shredded cheese, and pepperoni. I’ll also include fun veggie pizza toppings like grape tomatoes, olives, or bell pepper slices.

DIY Lunchables or “Snacky Lunch”

Lunchables are a popular favorite, but they can be pricey, aren’t very filling, and lack a fruit or veggie option. That’s why I started making DIY “snacky lunches” with crackers, cheese slices, pepperoni or ham slices, sweet peppers, berries, and a cookie.

Beef jerky, cheese sticks, and trail mix are popular “snacky lunch” options too. This type of lunch is perfect for grazing and a great way to use up small amounts of produce, lunch meat, cheese, and crackers in the fridge or pantry. 

Roll Up Fun

Roll-up sandwiches are another fun choice for prepping lunches. Simply wrap your child’s favorite meat and cheese in a tortilla and slice. Grilled chicken, turkey, and ham work well in this lunch. You can even add fun spreads like hummus, ranch, or cream cheese to the inside of the tortilla. For dessert, craft a banana roll-up by spreading peanut butter on a tortilla and wrapping it around a banana. Then, slice it up for a fun dessert that will delight your kids.

Pancake Power-Up

If your child is a big fan of breakfast, make a pancake power-up lunch. Mini pancakes or waffles along with fruit, and sausage links or bacon slices make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast for lunch. Choosing protein waffles like Kodiak Adventure Kids miniature waffles will add more protein for a healthier lunch that will keep your homeschoolers full longer.

Sandwiches for Lunch

Sometimes the best grab-and-go homeschool lunch is a classic sandwich. You can make sandwiches more fun for kids by making them on Hawaiian rolls or cutting the bread with cookie cutters. 

The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always a hit, but you can make whatever kind of sandwich your kids like best. You can add trail mix, grapes, apple slices, baby carrots, or cheese crackers for an easy and filling homeschool lunch.

Breakfast Box

Veggie muffins or egg muffins make another fun breakfast box lunch for homeschool days. You can add Greek yogurt, berries, and granola for a sweet side dish. Yogurt bowls are a big favorite at our house!

Walking Tacos

Have you ever tried a walking taco? They’re so much fun! Plus, walking tacos are easy to eat on the go. You’ll need chips, taco meat or beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, and shredded cheese. Kids can have fun dumping everything into their bag of chips and eat it with a fork during the homeschool lesson.

Meal Prep Ideas For Homeschool Parents

Meal prepping for the kids definitely saves time and energy. It’s especially helpful on the days when it feels like kids eat all day long! But what about homeschooling parents? 

On a busy homeschool day, it’s easy for me to convince myself that I don’t have time to prepare a healthy lunch. Then, I reach for convenience foods or decide to skip eating altogether. Meal prepping for myself on Sundays has helped me to eat better and feel better throughout the week.

I tend to eat the same thing all week, so meal prep ideas that focus on large batches I can distribute evenly throughout the week work best for me. I can make a big batch of my favorite chicken salad or stir fry and reach for it on busy homeschool days to keep my body fueled as I manage all the things. Check out some of my favorite meal prep ideas for homeschool parents below.

Chicken Salad

A big batch of chicken salad goes a long way! I make mine with Greek yogurt, grilled chicken, apples, red onions, and grapes. Sometimes I eat it with crackers and sometimes I just grab a spoon. The key is to mix everything in so it’s quick and easy to eat on a busy homeschooling day.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

If you love egg rolls, you’ve got to try an egg roll in a bowl. Add shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix to cooked ground beef to form the base of this dish. Then, add all your favorite egg roll flavors including ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha. I like to add a diced boiled egg and green onion too. Mix it and divide it into bowls for a tasty lunch throughout the week.

Stir Fry

A quick stir fry is a great way to use up leftover vegetables. Cook rice or quinoa first. Then, toss with mixed vegetables of your choice and soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce. Add a chopped fried egg and diced chicken or pork. My favorite secret ingredient is to add chopped pineapple.

Healthy Dip & Chips

I love chips and dip! Shredded chicken, cottage cheese, and buffalo wing sauce make a delicious and protein-rich buffalo chicken dip I can eat with protein chips.  Taco seasoning, sour cottage cheese, black beans, and fiesta corn make a fun taco dip that’s grab-and-go too.

More Helpful Resources For Homeschool Life

The hardest parts of homeschooling for us aren’t curriculum or lesson planning, the most challenging things are often hidden skills like meal prepping and self-care. If you’re looking for more helpful resources to make the most of your homeschool life, check out some of my favorite tips and tricks.

One Comment

  1. We have a lunch rotation that helps with decision fatigue.
    Monday: We eat out because it’s errand day
    Tuesday: Frozen Pizza
    Wednesday: Tacos
    Thursday: Chicken and Fries
    Friday: Grab

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