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Five tips to make a quick packed lunch

 Prepping food in advance can help you quickly assemble healthy meals (Shutterstock)

With the New Year off to a brisk start with the resumption of schools, prepping food in advance can help you quickly assemble healthy and varied packed lunches, saving you time and keeping your family’s health goals on track.

  • Prepare two proteins at the start of the week
  • These can be meats, beans or lentils but keep them plainly seasoned so you can add them to sauces or serve them with different foods without having to cook an entire new meal.

  • Pick three starches that can be rotated.
  • Rice and bread freeze well while pasta and potatoes do not keep long but can be eaten cold in salads.

  • Wash and chop enough fruit and veg to last at least a few days
  • Select those that stay fresh for long periods after preparation such as watermelon and pineapple, carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

    Fruit that needs minimal work such as apple, bananas and oranges are ideal.

  • Cook a number of soups and sauces in advance and freeze in individual portions.
  • Most freeze and reheat well and you can easily stir in one of your proteins in for a quick and varied hot meal.

  • Cook only enough for a couple of days to avoid waste depending on the food
  • Some cooked foods like eggs and veggies do not last long in the fridge so cook only enough for a couple of days to avoid waste.

    These can be introduced later on in the week once you have eaten through your raw veg.

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