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.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source vitamin C and beta-carotene. Fresh cherry tomatoes chopped in a pasta salad with cucumber, basil, and vinaigrette nicely fills a bento box for the school week. Alternatively, roast a tray of cherry or vine tomatoes or simmer over a medium heat and you've got the foundation for dozens of kid faves: soup, pasta sauce and a pizza topping. This recipe from Leah's Thoughts can be ready in minutes and adapted with extra veggies or chicken.

photo: Nadja Tatar via Flickr

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

——Emily Myers