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.

Comforting Bean Chili

A good chili is a perfect recipe for the first few weeks of school. Whether it's meat or veggie, it's a rich comfort food packed with goodness.  Don't be put off by the list of ingredients—the payoff will be worth it when you can pop it in a thermos, mix it with rice, give it the burrito bowl treatment or add it to a baked potato any day of the week. This kid-approved version is packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene and will make sure no one goes hungry.

photo: Nicole via Flickr

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

——Emily Myers