I really struggle with lunch time. For me, it's the usual attitude of by the time I get the kids lunch, clean it up and get them down for naps, I am starving and can't be bothered preparing something. So I grab something quick (chips). Sometimes I am running around during that time, I completely skip lunch altogether so fill up on coffee instead to keep me going. Feel free to scream at me right now for being so naughty but I promise these days are becoming rare as I am looking after myself better. However, I know what it's like to be a mum and confident that a lot of mums will be just like this.
I love the idea of preparing lunch in the morning because I have to do this for the kids. My brain doesn't quite handle thinking that far ahead for myself but it's all progress right? I figure if I became a pro at it overnight, then I probably wouldn't have this issue to begin with!
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I write out a timetable of pretty much every detail of our life. It's getting more hectic every year and I decided if I got into the habit of doing it now, it wouldn't be an added stress later. My brain turns to mush if I have too much to remember with times of things, jobs, study etc etc, but if I write it down and tick each task away, I'm good.
So a little while ago I started adding food to our timetable. This made such a difference in more ways than one. My shopping list was easier to write out, we have no food wastage and I can see every food content in my pantry and fridge. I keep a list stuck to my fridge so if we run out of something it gets written on there immediately. Nothing ticks me off more than going shopping with my kids only to get home and forget something vital like toilet paper. That's what happens when you prioritise good behaviour bribe treats over an actual necessity. But the big one for us was lowering the cost of our weekly groceries. Now that breakfast, lunch and dinners plus household items were set as categories on my shopping list, I noticed what was costing the most and cut back on these or replaced them with something cheaper. This included things like types of meat, snack food including school lunch box items and household items like toiletries. Instead of waiting until I ran out of washing powder, I picked up two every time they were on special which was usually a half price sale.
I know that sounds a bit off track to specifically looking at lunch but doing this made a huge difference for me in making sure lunch was a priority in my day. Because I had in my shopping list and timetable a section for lunch, I knew exactly what I was eating each day and could decide if I wanted to prepare it in advance or just before.
Why can't I just make and have lunch with my kids? Good logical question and the answer is nothing but selfish or deserving, however you want to look at it. I eat breakfast with my kids and dinner with my kids so they know I eat. At some point in the day, I like to have some kind of moment to myself and for me, thats lunch. This is what began the skipping and can't be bothered making it, so I really didn't do myself any favours but stayed determined. It's that scenario of every time you take a bite and then put it down to clean a spilled drink or re cut a sandwich because it's in rectangles and today they want squares. My salad sandwich gets soggy or my nice warm meal goes cold like my coffees most days and the experience is completely unenjoyable. The whole point of that break is to relax, to eat because everyone has had their turn and everything else can wait. So I feel like that is a good enough explanation as to why I love lunch to myself.
I wasn't budging on the lunch to myself deal and now I had everything in my cupboard to make it, so I had to really kick myself up the butt to prepare it. The quicker I made lunch the longer I got to sit down and relax, hence the previous packet of chips thing. I realised I needed to make healthy, satisfying and filling lunches that were super quick to prepare if I wasn't preparing them in the morning. Thanks to Pinterest and Weight Watchers, and I guess cravings, when planning out my dinners for the week, I looked up yummy lunches to make. I'm so fine with eating the same lunch everyday for a while and do this generally anyway when I get on to a good thing. I picked three different types of lunches to make each week and since I have been doing this, can proudly say I haven't missed lunch and have enjoyed it everyday since.
Gone are chucking frozen pizzas in the oven or opening a packet of chips or drinking three large skim lattes. When my kids are fed and put to bed or in front of a movie for rest time, I spend a tiny five minutes preparing my healthy plate and sit down to some solid break time.
You want in? Then look below for some lunch ideas or go to places you can find healthy, filling lunch recipes and start your own weekly lunch list. Now that I actually eat meals during the day, I feel way more energised and no longer stuff my face at 4pm's sleepy sweet time because I am starving.
- Bruschetta (my fave and always on my list. I also mix it up with different ingredients)
- Salad sandwich or wrap (I pack mine with ham or chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, beetroot, alfalfa and avocado)
- Eggs (scrambled, poached, omlette style) on toast and mixed with some veg
- Baked Ricotta (recipe to come)
- Soup with toast
- Sausage rolls (see recipe)
- Good old ham and cheese toastie
- Homemade baked beans on toast
- Pre prepared baked potato reheated and stuff with salad or baked beans
- Pre made quiche
- Pasta salad
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© The Realistic Mum
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