Whether you’ve always homeschooled or are new to the process, you’ve probably learned by now that lunch can be a stressor. Between fixing your own work-from-home meals and wrangling your little ones, it’s easy to fall back on take out.
However, here at Den’s Hot Dogs, we know there’s an easier way that’s still healthful for your family. Read on to explore our working from home tips for success.
Prep on Sundays
You’ve likely heard this tip before. Meal prepping on Saturdays or Sundays (usually the latter) can make the lunches you serve your kid at home practically effortless. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” we have a few tricks to help.
- Choose big-batch meals that use similar ingredients. For example, the vegetables that go in lasagna (your choice but common ones are spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.) can also go in a pot pie, stir-fry, or soup.
- If they’re old enough, get your kids involved with chopping and other prep work. Not only will it save you time, but it’s also a great bonding experience.
- Start early in the day so once the food has cooled, you can freeze it in portion-sized containers and simply microwave throughout the week.
With just a few hours on a Sunday, your kid’s lunches at home will basically take care of themselves. Plus, these prepped dishes are excellent work-from-home meals for you, too!
Prioritize Self-Contained Meals
If prepping on the weekends won’t work for your schedule, our next working from home tip for success is to prioritize easy-to-assemble meals. We’re talking the self-contained ones: sandwiches, wraps, and burritos.
These options are not only quick but provide practically endless variety. Roll turkey slices with bell peppers and hummus in a whole wheat wrap. Layer any leftover veggies in your fridge with deli meats between multigrain bread. Put chopped up tomatoes, that half-eaten can of black beans, and some cheddar cheese into a brown rice tortilla.
Not only are these at-home lunches fun for kids, they’re super portable. While it’s always a good idea to unplug on your lunch break, sometimes you have to eat as you work. Sit the kids at the table or send them outside to eat while you keep chugging along.
Embrace the Microwave
Of course, at Den’s Hot Dogs, we’re a huge fan of microwaveable meals. Can you blame us? The convenience, the time saved, and the health factor makes these work-from-home meals practically unbeatable.
Whether you snag a 12-pack of food for variety or stock up your freezer with a 24-pack so you’re covered for a while, microwaveable lunches for kids at home are effortless. Simply remove from the freezer, toss it in your appliance, and it’s ready in a New York minute.
Plus, did you know that microwaving actually preserves more nutrients and flavor than roasting or boiling foods thanks to the shorter cooking time? That’s right, microwaved food can be healthy for you!
Use a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
Think crock pots are just for dinner or that they have to sit for eight hours to complete a meal? Think again! Most crock pots and slow cookers have multiple temperature settings. To use one of these appliances for your kid’s lunches at home, use the higher setting for a shorter time.
This working from home tip for success makes lunch time a breeze. If you can, prep your ingredients the night before. Chop up all vegetables, defrost your meat, and assemble your spices.
The next morning, all you have to do is throw it in the pot, set the temperature and a timer, and walk away. Your cooker happily simmers your recipe without you having to do a thing except go about your workday. Then, when it’s time to serve your kids lunch at home, you just dish it up and enjoy.
Don’t Discount The Classics
If all else fails, there are a few classic recipes you can fall back on. These traditional meals are easy to put together and healthful. They’re also guaranteed crowd-pleasers, even for picky eaters.
Grilled cheese is a quick work-from-home meal you can make for you and the children. To make this healthier, use whole grain bread, low fat cheeses, and go easy on the butter in the skillet. Try sneaking some chopped broccoli or spinach inside the sandwich for a veggie boost. Serve with a side of raw carrots (or whatever veggie your kids prefer in their at-home lunches) for a balanced meal.
Similar in substance, quesadillas are also quick to make. The same healthful tips apply: whole grains, low-fat cheese, and sneaky veggies. Cut them into fun shapes to entertain your child as they eat. Don’t forget the side of homemade guacamole for dipping (healthy fats for the win!). Short on time? You can microwave a quesadilla to melt the cheese (though it won’t be as crispy).
Our final working from home tip for success at mealtimes is a hummus plate. Some store-bought hummus can be quite healthful. Arrange a display of cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, and whole grain pita crackers for a fun kids at-home lunch they’ll love.
Your Lunch Woes, Solved
Simplify your work-from-home meals and kid’s lunches with Den’s Hot Dogs. Our microwaveable hot dogs, sandwiches, and meals are designed with your utmost health and convenience in mind. Stock up your freezer and never worry about what’s for lunch again!
As always, if you’ve got questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.