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Setting Up a Healthy Lunchbox Pantry

Posted: August 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Pantry staples | No Comments »
Bulk Bins - bcmom

Wouldn’t it be great if you got up in the morning and it took no more than five minutes to put together a new and exciting lunch box meal every day? The Japanese call the pantry stash johbisai – and it saves a lot of time and energy putting together your meals if you already have a basic lunch stash to go to. The keys are to buy in bulk and cook in bulk, individually wrap items – and to keep plenty of pre-made items either in the freezer or refrigerator. Here are some good suggestions to start your lunch box pantry:

Hard-boiled eggs – once a week, make a half dozen hardboiled eggs to keep in your fridge and pop into your lunch box – they store nicely in those little leftover green plastic
berry containers. You can make a quick egg salad by using an egg, a squirt of dijon
mustard, and a teaspoon of mayo.

Frozen meatballs (I like IKEA, but I also make my own turkey meatballs once a month). Heat the meatballs and pop them in your lunch box.

Single serve rice – make a pot of brown or white rice, and while still warm, wrap half cup servings individually in saran wrap, and place in freezer. Or, make a fresh weekly batch and keep it in your fridge for easy additions to lunch, dinner, or even breakfast (warmed with a little milk and cinnamon).

Frozen muffins – muffins can be frozen individually and popped right in a lunchbox and will defrost by lunch time. Mini muffins are great for lunches or snacks.

Frozen Dumplings (require just a few minutes to heat) – and are a great lunch food. They can be bought in bulk in most asian markets, or for an ambitious afternoon cranked out at home.

Dried fruits and nuts – Think almonds, walnuts, cranberries, raisins, apricots, figs, soynuts, dried mango, pineapple and apple slices to name a few. Perfect to boost the protein in your lunch, or as a quick afternoon pick me up.

Bonbel Baby Cheese Wheels – or any other cubed cheeses – you can pre-cube them and store them in a ziplock and pop a few in your lunch every so often.

Pudding or Yogurt – buy in bulk, and make a new flavor each week to portion in your lunches. Or you can freeze jello or pudding and put right into the lunchbox frozen.

Burritos wrapped in foil – make an assembly line of burritos and wrap in parchment and foil and pop in the freezer – great for easy on-the-go breakfasts, or filling lunches.

These are only the start of what you can make in advance – What do you have in your lunch box pantry? Are we missing one of your favorites?

Photo – bcmom

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