Any parent will tell you that meal times feel the squeeze when the fall schedule kicks in. With a little juggling, though, getting ahead is a great strategy for family sanity around this time of year. Whether it’s doubling up a Sunday roast or batch prepping for the freezer, we’ve rounded up some of the best recipes that, with a few small tweaks, will add up to a week’s worth of packed lunches in no time. Flip through the slideshow to see them all.

Endless Chicken

It's age old advice, but it's still fresh—if you're going to the trouble of roasting a chicken, double up and cook two. The same applies to chicken breasts or thighs, cook enough to last the week. Leftover chicken gives you dozens of options for packed lunches: shake it up with different sides, add it to rice, pop it on a salad, or roll it into a delicious chicken shawarma stuffed pita. Gaby of What's Gaby Cooking bakes a tray of thighs for this recipe seasoned with a citrus marinade and adds cherry tomatoes and cucumber for a lunch that's still hanging on to summer.

photo: What's Gaby Cooking

Which recipes are kid-approved lunchbox favorites in your home? Let us know in the comments below.


——Emily Myers