How to Organize an Easy Lunch Station at Home
Today, I’m excited to share with you how to organize an easy lunch station at home.
Some of my favorite bloggers are participating in the Back to Basics series. And this month we’re talking about organization and all things back to school.
Making Healthy Choices While Working From Home
I work from home a good portion of the week. Most days, it’s an absolute blessing so I’m not complaining one bit.
I personally love having to set my own schedule but I totally get it’s not for everyone.
The only drawback (if there is one) is that I started developing some pretty bad eating habits over time.
I found myself grazing on chips instead of making myself lunch or grabbing a piece of fruit instead of making a healthy breakfast because it was easier.
We meal plan most of our dinners so we had that covered pretty well. But there were times I found myself eating brownies and coffee most of the day.
We’ve definitely learned a lot about healthy eating habits and the importance of having healthy choices prepared in advance.
So, with that in mind and coupled with the fact that school is starting back up, I thought I would share how we prep for a grab and go breakfast, simple snacks, and healthy lunch choices too.
Here’s a peek at how to organize a lunch station at home…
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*This post was updated August 2020
Weekly Meal Prep and Planning
I usually take one afternoon a week to meal prep and plan.
Our trash pickup is on Wednesday which means we clean out our refrigerator every Tuesday night.
That way, when we’re out grocery shopping on Thursday we have plenty of room to put food items away immediately.
It’s such a time saver!
Once the groceries are put away, I check our schedules to see how many meals I need to make.
Next, I start compiling all the necessary ingredients and gather containers. I usually start with breakfast items first.
I’m usually starving after I workout so I’ll make overnight oats (oats + coconut or almond milk + berries + chia seeds + sprinkle of coconut flakes).
I’ll also make something similar with yogurt (yogurt + berries + chia seeds + sprinkle of coconut flakes).
Then, I’ll start making smoothies as part of the easy lunch station at home. We almost always have some sort of smoothie every single day whether it’s for breakfast, snack, or as part of lunch.
I try to change it up each week but we have a few favorites…banana, almond butter, chia seeds, vanilla protein powder, almond milk
Frozen Triple berries with cherries, bananas, avocado, coconut milk,
Frozen triple berries with cherries, banana, spinach, kale, and almond milk (add a little honey if you want it to be sweet)
Mr. Green is Not Sweet is not usually a crowd favorite unless I mix a bit of pineapple or organic apple juice in with the kale, spinach, avocado, cucumber, celery, and ginger.
Sometimes, I’ll add a dash of turmeric in there too.
Once I’ve finished all the breakfast containers, they go directly in the baskets we use to keep our refrigerator organized. Don’t forget to label and date the contents!
As always, you’ll need to follow and practice proper food safety guidelines based on whatever ingredients you put in your smoothie.
Another way to organize an easy lunch station at home is by prepping the snack bags & snack containers.
These bags hold prepackaged veggies combinations that can be used with hummus or Greek yogurt ranch dipping sauce, chips, cheese and grapes, strawberries, cherries, granola, etc.
After the snack bags are finished, I start creating things that can be used for lunches.
We try our very best to either eat or recreate whatever we’ve had for dinner the night before into something else.
For example, if we’ve eaten black bean quesadillas for dinner on Monday night and we have black beans leftover we put the black beans in a salad, add some corn, peppers, avocado, salsa, shredded chicken, shrimp, or quinoa for lunch the following day.
Another option is to put the leftover beans into a breakfast burrito. It just depends on how much time we have.
I make power salads, chef salads, and pasta salads with shrimp, chicken, and veggies in wide mouth mason jars.
As well as, turkey roll-ups that can be paired with other grab and go items from the snack basket.
Meal Prep Containers
In addition to mason jars, we also use several other kinds of containers including silicon and glass divided containers to help with portion control.
We like this one because it’s collapsible and the glass ones are stackable which makes them both easy to store.
They both hold a lot which is nice.
When we’re trying to pack multiple options into one easy container we use boxes with lock and seal lids.
In addition, we’ve been phasing out single-use plastics like sandwich bags so we use these bags.
All these meal prep containers make it simple to put wraps, veggies, fruit, granola, and yogurt together without a lot of fuss.
How to Organize an Easy Lunch Station at Home
Consider storing and organizing an easy lunch station at home by keeping all the items you need to make lunches together.
We use the two drawers closest to the refrigerator to hold these items as well as the cabinet underneath to hold lunch bags and extra food storage containers.
Keeping everything close to the refrigerator makes packing lunches, snacks, or breakfast really convenient.
It will also help to keep your refrigerator better organized too.
Likewise, having baskets designated for easy breakfast, snacks, and other lunch items will keep you organized in the pantry as well.
It also helps to keep a compost bowl while you’re at the lunch prep station so counters are kept clutter-free.
Then when you’re finished prepping you can either compost or discard the scraps.
Whether you’re trying to build healthier eating habits like we are or you’re trying to keep your morning and nightly routines drama-free taking an afternoon to meal prep will help you become more organized in other parts of your life too.
Bonus, you’ll save money and have extra time to do the things you really enjoy!
Make sure to check out what the rest of these fabulous ladies in the Back to Basics series are sharing. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
A Few Other Organization Posts You Might Enjoy:
- Our Favorite Organizing Essentials
- How to Make a DIY Dry Erase Board
- Modern Cleaning Day Schedule Made Easy
- How to Tame Cleaning Cabinet Clutter
- Simple to Create a Drink Zone in 3 Easy Steps
Wow CoCo! You are on it !! You have just taught us a thing or five about being organized with meal prep and healthy eating. Love those collapsible containers too! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas!
I appreciat3e it ladies, thanks so much. You know my heart speaks in neutrals and organizing 🙂 Hugs, CoCo
These are fantastic ideas for breakfast, lunch and snack ideas. You have inspired me to get better organized for our food prep and organized for healthier eating. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.
So sweet of you to say, bonbon, thank you! It definitely helps us to make better choices and the ease of “grab and go” is such a time saver. Can’t wait to see how it all works out for you too. Hugs, Coco
This is SO smart! Anything that makes meal prep easier is a win in my book!
I appreciate it, Amanda, it makes the mornings run so much easier and we feel like we’re making healthier choices too. Hugs, CoCo
Great ideas! I need to get way more organized with my meal planning. This is going to be a goal of mine this school year!
Thank you, Amy! We usually take an afternoon to meal plan based on whatever our schedules are for the week and to make a grocery list at the same time. That way it feels like we’re accomplishing two things at once 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how it works out for you too, hugs, CoCo
Wow CoCo! I am completely inspired by how organized and healthy you are! Love the idea of making everything up ahead of time and using labeled baskets in the fridge.
I appreciate it, Tara, thank you. It definitely takes a bit of extra planning to make it all happen but in the end the “grab and go” baskets in the refrigerator makes the mornings so much easier. Hugs, CoCo
These are some terrific lunch packing station ideas! I really like the idea of using black beans in a salad the next day, too – I never thought of that.
Thanks so much you guys! Thinking “one meal ahead” each day has been such a game-changer for us. Especially now that we’re working from home every day and making meals 3 times a day 🙂 Hope you have a great week, CoCo