Single moms are awesome in many ways – they are breadwinners, they are homemakers, they are disciplinarians, and they are fighters. Regardless of how things ended up to be that way, we tip our hat to the millions and millions of single mothers all over the world who fight tooth and nail day in and day out in order to raise their families flying solo for the most part. It’s a daily struggle that is a testament to a mother’s undying love for her children, despite in many ways living with the specter of aloneness that can rear its ugly head at the worst possible times.
In spite of that, single mothers ARE super mothers – imagine the daily routine for many single mothers with children. Preparing them for school, whipping up a hearty breakfast, giving them last-minute tips as to how to best prepare for a pop quiz, then cleaning the house, then going to work….they literally are on the go 24/7. And it is totally understandable that sometimes, they have no more energy nor time to prepare a packed lunch for their kids, despite the overarching need for much healthier choices for them.
Don’t despair – we’ve come up with 6 great packed lunch ideas for single moms without the luxury of time to whip up in a hurry. And they are definitely bound to be tastier and healthier than anything that could come from a Starbucks or a Burger King.
1. Chickpea And Spinach Salad
A simple chickpea and spinach salad is something even the most unprepared person can whip up in seconds – and it has the added bonus of having high protein content to make sure you don’t go hungry right away, fiber for your digestive system, and the added value of trace minerals. No excuses!
2. Healthy Sandwich Ideas
Sandwiches are literally a godsend to everyone who packs lunch – and so are mothers. Imagine the palette that a sandwich offers – a peanut butter and banana sandwich here, a bologna and rye sandwich on the other….there are literally a million ways you could prepare a sandwich from scratch, and none of them could possibly take more than 5 minutes – even grilled cheese!
3. Burritos Of All Sorts
Burritos take a little bit more preparation, but your kids will thank you for it – plus, you can rest well knowing that your child will be having a filling, healthy, and tasty lunch at school. Simply prepare a big batch of ground beef beforehand, cook some rice and beans, and prep it a week before – pure Mexican goodness everyday for a week!
4. An Asian Classic: Fried Rice
Fried rice is something that never fails – and growing up as an Asian, many a lunch was packed thusly. Rice cooked in 5 minutes, tossed with vegetables, bits of meat, and egg plus a dash of soy sauce and seasoning makes for a perfect lunch anytime, anywhere…and you don’t need to be Asian for you to enjoy the delectable goodness of a nice bowl or box of fried rice.
No, not the restaurant Hulk Hogan tried and failed at – see, pasta is a perfect lunch you can whip up with fresh and tasty ingredients, and does well upon reheating. It only takes about 3 minutes for a single serving of al dente pasta to be cooked up; pair it with some homemade pesto you can whip up literally from scratch, or a simple cream sauce with thinly-sliced prosciutto or pancetta (you’d need a good knife to carve such thin slices, but you can also have your butcher cut the prosciutto for you).
No matter the pairing you’re using though, this is infinitely healthier than a McDouble – and infinitely tastier, too.
6. Red Lentil Salad
This is a great option for vegetarian or vegan families – it is packed full of protein and fiber, very filling, and very tasty thanks to the lentils! Garnish it with a bit of feta cheese and yogurt, and you have literally a Mediterranean classic that you can prepare as quick as 15 minutes.
Single mothers are pressed for time, no doubt – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be more aware and cognizant of the fact that your child needs a balanced diet full of nutrition and love straight from the hearth of your very home.