The back to school season is in full swing and while it seems most parents are happy about it (myself included) when the topic of making lunches is brought up, there is a collective groan. I mean, sure, I have one of those cutesy Pinterest boards full of over-achiever bento boxes and dinosaur shaped sandwiches but in reality, I’m a single mom of 2 kids that is trying to run a business. I don’t have time for dinosaur shaped sandwiches.
What I can do, though, is make sure my kids have wholesome, real food snacks to bring to school each day. Don’t get me wrong, in a pinch, I’m not above grabbing a box of Dunkaroos or those packs of little cracker sticks you dip in the cheese wiz. But, I’ve realized that batch baking or cooking 2-3 times a month allows me to provide my Littles with enough healthy-ish snacks to last the whole month and I feel better about knowing exactly what they’re putting in their bodies.
Our basic school lunch outline looks something like this:
- Main dish (sandwich, leftovers, homemade lunchable, etc)
- 1 Fruit
- 1 Veggie
- 1 Yogurt (either tubes, drinks, or regular cups)
- 1 Cheese product (either strings or a couple pieces of brick cheese)
- 1 Homemade Granola Bar
- 1 Muffin
To some people, this probably seems excessive but after 4 years of trial and error I’ve learned for my kids, 7 items is the sweet spot. I send 6, they come home starving. I send 8, they come home with leftovers. This year I’m considering swapping out the cheese for a different source of protein since the Canada Food Guide is getting an overhaul but we’ll see. We use almond or cashew milk most of the time and our dinners are dairy-free, so I’m not too worried about it.
Anyways, back to the whole point of this post. MUFFINS! They are a staple in my kids’ lunches and I love that I can really shake up the flavor or style to keep things interesting. Similar to the homemade granola bars that I make, the possibilities are endless. I’ve rounded up 50 awesome muffin recipes for you that are school lunch safe (nut-free) and made from scratch. Spend a day baking, wrap them up, and throw them in the freezer for a wholesome lunch snack all month long.