These 40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas will give you a ton of ideas on what healthy foods you can prep for your kids on the weekend to prepare for the busy week ahead. Great for breakfasts, school lunches or quick after-school snacks!
I wasn’t that big into meal prepping a couple of months ago in the summer when it felt like I had all the time in the world to make a delicious breakfast for my kids. But when my kids started back to school this fall at two different schools that both have very early bell times, I quickly realized that eating a leisurely breakfast or making school lunches in them morning was no longer an option for me if I wanted to keep my sanity.
I was struggling with being able to make my kids healthy breakfasts and lunches, and to be honest I was just struggling with life in general.
It’s the classic mom problem - too many people in too many places with not enough time in the day.
Then I started meal prepping.
Well, not really meal prepping as I wasn’t prepping food items to make into a meal but rather food prepping for the week.
I was prepping healthy foods on the weekend that I could make into different breakfasts, school lunches or after-school snacks for my girls.
2 Hours in the Kitchen = 6 Kid-Friendly Meal Prep Foods
I usually do my food prep on Sunday with either a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the tim ;) and it takes me less then 2 hours from start to finish. These are the 6 foods I always make -
1 dozen hard boiled eggs
Cut 3-4 apples and store with lemon water
Cut 2-3 veggies for lunches or snacks
1 batch of muffins (I usually go with mini muffins since I can use them for snacks as well as breakfasts)
Hummus or a dip for the veggies
Batch of granola or waffles to use for breakfasts or lunches
Over 40 Food Prep Ideas
With over 40 food prep ideas below, you will have a ton of ideas and recipes to get you started on food prepping for the busy week ahead.
Once you get started, I know food prepping will save your sanity during the hectic week as well! #yourwelcome
Did I forget anything? Comment below to let me know what you love to make ahead of time for your kids.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are a great pre-made food to have on hand for breakfasts on-the-go, lunches or quick protein filled snacks. I make a dozen of hard boiled eggs every week for our family.
I usually make my hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot using the 5-5-5 technique (5 minutes on high pressure, 5 minutes of natural release, 5 minutes in an ice bath). You can also use the stove top method, oven method or this fancy hard boiled egg maker.
How to Serve Hard Boiled Eggs During the Week to Your Kids:
cut in half and serve along side a piece of whole grain toast for breakfast (this is my kids favorite car breakfast)
finely chop the egg and sprinkle it on top of a piece of avocado toast (add a drizzle of hot sauce for adults)
cut in half and serve in bento lunch box along with crackers, cheese slices, grapes, apple slices and some nuts (if school is not nut-free)
cut in half and serve in a bento lunch box along with waffle sticks, maple syrup, berries, bacon and a side of yogurt
finely chop the egg and mix with a bit of mayo and mustard to make it into an egg salad sandwich
cut in half and serve with celery and peanut butter for a quick after-school snack
More Meal Prep Egg Ideas
When we get a little tired of hard boiled eggs, I will add these amazing egg recipes into the weekly rotation.
Pre-cut veggies are everything in life!
I have found that when I pre-cut veggies on the weekend, I will serve them more during the week which makes my kids actually eat more veggies! #momwin
Another great way I use pre-cut veggies is when I am rushing to get dinner on the table and the girls are s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g for a snack but dinner is less than an hour away, I will plate up some pre-cut veggies and a pre-made dip and put it on the table for them to snack on before dinner. It’s a great way to get more veggies into them and it won’t fill them up enough for them to not eat their dinner. It’s the biggest win-win in my life right now!
Non-Cook Vegetables that are Great to Pre-Cut for Kids:
carrots - cut into strips, coins or spiralized
celery - cut into strips
cucumber - peeled and sliced
peppers - cut into strips or chunks
broccoli - cut into florets
cauliflower - cut into florets
cherry tomatoes - washed, not cut
snap peas - trimmed
green beans - trimmed
beets - spiralized or cut into strips, washed until water is clear and dried (my kids will eat raw beets but this one might not be for anyone)
I will usually pick 2 or 3 of the veggies from the list above and pre-cut them for the week.
My kids LOVE spiralized carrots, beets, apples, sweet potato and will happily eat them raw in there lunches. This is the spiralizer we have and love!
To store, I will gently wet a paper towel and wrap the pre-cut vegetables in the paper towel before placing it in an air-tight container. I have found this method will help keep the pre-cut veggies good for 4-5 days.
How to use the Pre-Cut Vegetables:
School Lunches - serve in bento lunch box along with your kid’s favorite dip
Snacks - serve with hummus, dip or peanut butter for a fast after-school snack
Dinner - great to add to our dinners - either in the meal itself or on the side
Plan Ahead and Prep Veggies for Dinners as Well:
Prep enough veggies for dinners as well! If you know you are going to make fajitas for dinner on Wednesday night, then while you are cutting your kids veggies for the week, prep some extra veggies to make your dinner time routine even easier.
Having pre-cut fruit on hand during a busy week is key to not losing your mind!
Between breakfasts, lunches and snacks, my kids go through a lot of fruit during the week. I try to prep as much fruit for them on the weekend as possible to cut down on the number of times I have to get out the cutting board and slice them up an apple.
Fruits that are Great to Pre-Cut for Kids:
apples - tossed in lemon water to keep fresh
pears - tossed in lemon water to keep fresh
oranges - cut or just peeled
grapes - washed and de-stemed
I will usually pick 2-4 of the fruits above and pre-cut them for the week. I have found that berries are best to wash right before serving or packing in lunches.
How to Store Fruit to Keep it Fresh:
To keep apples and pears fresh, I will cut them into slices, place them into an air-tight container and then gently toss them in a combination of 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water, drain any excess water/lemon before storing in the fridge.
The rest of the fruit in the list above can be store in air-tight containers for 4-5 days. For wetter fruits (watermelon, mango, kiwi, oranges), I usually place a paper towel at the bottom of an air-tight container to soak up any liquid from the fruit.
How to use the Pre-Cut Fruit:
Breakfast - use the fruit as a topping in cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or cottage cheese. You can top whole grain toast with almond butter and pre-sliced fruit. Or serve with a side of whipped cream cheese to use as a dip.
Lunch - serve as a healthy side in bento lunch boxes or on their plates.
Snacks - this is probably the #1 reason I prep fruit for the week - snacks. At home, you can serve with a side of peanut butter or yogurt to dip the fruit in. On-the-Go, you can serve the pre-cut fruit along with some graham crackers and nuts for a quick nutrient dense snack to fill up your kids before their next activity.
Dinner - I always serve fruit with dinner, so I will always toss some extra pre-cut fruit on their plates to keep them happy.
Muffins/Baked Goods/Granola Bars
This is sorta a general category, but I will always try to have some type of healthy baked goods on hand for the week - muffins, breads, waffles, pancakes, granola bars or even cookies
That way during the week I can grab a healthy carb to pack in lunches or as a snack. The best part is if we have any leftovers, I will freeze them to use during a week I wasn’t able to prep any baked goods. That way I always have a stash of yummy baked goods on-hand.
Healthy Baked Good Recipes my Kids Love:
Hummus or Dip
My kids will usually only eat their veggies if they are accompanied by a dip of some kind. I get it, veggies and hummus or ranch are pretty much my favorite snack ever! So I usually try to make a batch of homemade hummus or a fun dip for them to eat throughout the week. I mean if it gets them eat more veggies, I am all for it.
Hummus and Dip Recipes my Kids Love:
We love granola in our home and it is a must-have food to have on hand for a busy week. I make a big batch of granola every couple of weeks to make sure we always have some healthy granola in our pantry.
How to Serve Granola During the Week:
sprinkle over yogurt and topped with fresh berries for breakfast or snack
serve in a bowl with warm almond milk and chopped peaches
by the handful as a snack
pack granola in a bento lunch box along with yogurt, berries, a hard boiled egg and some crackers for a school lunch
Granola Recipes my Kids Love: