Weekday mornings are tough for everyone, but working mothers definitely have the most to balance. It’s a huge chore to get the kids ready to go out the door and do the same for yourself. The details, like preparing lunch, can be overwhelming, especially when you’re in a crunch for time. Thankfully, we found 20 easy recipes that you can prepare in 5 minutes or less to make the morning rush just a bit easier.
1. DIY Lunchable
This lunch is an upgrade from the highly processed supermarket favorite: sliced cheese and salami, cut veggies, layered crackers and fresh fruit is finger food with nutritional value.
2. Cream Cheese and Ham Pinwheels
Sandwich rollups never fail, especially when paired with rich cream cheese and savory ham. Add a handful of fruits and veggies on the side for a lunchtime platter your kid can’t resist.
3. Mini Pizza
There’s no need to bake these pizza creations. Your child can make their own pie using shredded cheese, mini pepperoni, marinara sauce and round pieces of flatbread.
4. Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich
This sweet sandwich is super easy to make. Just layer sliced strawberries on a cream cheese spread. Add sides of blueberries and bananas for extra fruity flavor.
5. Chicken and Avocado Mayo Wrap
Avocado-mayo spread, pre-cooked chicken and crisp lettuce come together to create a power-packed super sandwich. You can rely on it alone to keep your kid full all day.
6. Salmon, Cream Cheese and Spinach Pinwheels
Stuck in a basic lunch meat rut? Switch out turkey and ham for omega-3-rich salmon. Roll it up with a swipe of cream cheese and a spread of spinach.
7. Fruit Wrap Snack
This rainbow roll of fruits is tasty alone, but a side of almond or peanut butter adds protein-packed flavor. Cut the fruit the night before to slice prep time in half.
8. Turkey and Roast Beef String Cheese Wraps
Most kids love string cheese, but it isn’t enough to stand alone for lunch. Instead, wrap them in your choice of lunch meat to add bulk.
9. Waffle Taco Bar
Use handmade leftovers from breakfast or heat a favorite frozen variety pack to create waffle taco shells. Pack pre-cooked meat (or dinner leftovers), sprinkles of cheese, simple veggies and smashed avocado to complete this taco takeaway box.
10. Mini Chicken and Waffle Skewers
This take on a soul food favorite alternates pre-cooked chicken nuggets and mini waffles on a popsicle stick.
11. PB&J Waffle Sandwiches
The PB&J sandwich is in desperate need of an upgrade: Try substituting bread for mini waffles you can pop in the toaster.
Apples make great lunchtime sides, but why not make them the star of the show? Try tart Granny Smiths or sweet Golden Delicious apples to entice your kid’s palate.
13. Banana Wrap
Don’t throw a banana in your child’s bag: put it in their sandwich! This recipe also points to a sneaky way to incorporate additional nutrition: sprinkle chia or flax seeds onto the spread.
14. Taco Salad
Pre-cooked meat (or dinner leftovers) is key to this salad’s success. Simply layer all ingredients in a container. Add a side of salsa for “dressing.”
15. Granola Crunch Apple-Peanut Butter Sandwich Wraps
Most wraps get their crunch from lettuce, but this recipe uses crisp apple and crumbly granola. It’s essentially a trail mix sandwich, held together by trusty peanut butter.
16. Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad Sandwich
Avocado and chickpeas make a creamy, nutrient-rich spread for any sandwich. Bonus: it can be used as a dip for veggies and crackers for other lunchtime combinations.
17. Lettuce Wrap Sandwich
Parchment paper is the key to keeping this wrap together. Layer your sandwich toppings on lettuce and roll.
18. Mini Salad Pita Pockets
You can stuff these pita pockets with anything your heart desires. Even better: they’re low-mess since toppings can’t slip from the sides.
19. Bite Sized Greek Salad
Veggie and cheese kabobs have never been more adorable. These are the perfect size for dunking into sides of sauce.
20. Rainbow Fruit Salad
Slice your child’s favorite fruit and throw it in a to-go container. It’s packed with nutrients and hydration to keep your kid fully charged all day.