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.

Carnitas

There are plenty of slow cooker recipes for carnitas, but our version uses a simple Dutch oven and takes considerably less time. Make it on Sunday night, and you can say goodbye to weekday lunch box blues. Load onto a bun, pile into a taco, grill as a quesadilla and wrap in foil for some shiny lunchbox bling. Alternatively, add it to rice or pasta and pop in a thermos.

photo: The Food Network

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

——Emily Myers