Meal planning – Beat the back-to-school rush

Transcript - Meal planning – Beat the back-to-school rush

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Eat Well - Meal planning - Beat the back-to-school rush


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Lauralyn Chow
Calgary, Alberta
Do you have any ideas for making packed lunches for those days when I'm in a rush and I need something quick?

As part of the Eat Well campaign, we have a question from Lauralyn Chow of Calgary, Alberta: "Do you have any ideas for making packed lunches for those days when I'm in a rush and I need something quick?" Christine, ideas?

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Zannat Reza,Registered Dietitian
Christine Cushing, TV Chef and Author

Visual: Pull back to our two experts, in a kitchen, behind a counter, with various items in front of them such as apples, bananas, eggs, pot of spaghetti sauce, etc.

Christine: That's a big challenge I think for all of us. One great way that I like to do this is to make use of previous meals. So, you'll see, here I have this leftover spaghetti sauce that I transformed quite easily into a kind of a chili. I just opened a can of beans, added it. Some green peppers, you can add some carrots, and now all I wanna do with this is warm it up, put it into a Thermos, I add a whole grain bun, maybe a little carton of milk and a piece of fruit, and I have a fully complete, balanced, absolutely nutritious and delicious meal.

Visual: Cut to a close-up shot of beans, green peppers and onions being added to the spaghetti sauce, then it is stirred to mix everything. Cut to a close-up shot of the chili being put in a thermos. Followed by a shot of the thermos, an apple and cheese already in a container being put in a backpack. The ice pack is also added to the backpack. Cut to a wide shot with our two experts still behind the kitchen counter.

Zannat: And you know what, I love that idea because you're covering off all four food groups.

Christine: Exactly.

Zannat: And you've got some protein and fibre, which is really important to keep those energy levels up during the day. And it's important for adults as well as children.

Christine: Absolutely. I think this also reminds me of when I was a kid how important it was for me to get involved in the cooking process. My dad would always bring me into the kitchen, and I actually cooked some meals even on my own after a while.

Zannat: Wow!

Christine: So it's really important to make that a family thing where people come together and you know, you learn and you learn how important the cooking part is.

Zannat: I totally agree. You know, my kids love getting involved in terms of packing their lunches. You know, another option, apart from using leftovers, is having healthy foods that are quick to grab and go in your kitchen. And today, you know we've got a wide variety of different things that we can use. Things like whole grain pitas, whole grain crackers, we got yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, anything that's easy to grab. So finger foods, cheese...

Visual: Close-up shot of whole grain pitas, cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, hard-boiled eggs being put in a bowl and cherry tomatoes.

Christine: Absolutely.

Zannat: ... fruit. Again mix and match. Keeps the variety up, but again, it's really quick to pack a healthy lunch.

Visual: Close-up shot of cheese sticks being put in a container that already has cherry tomatoes and whole grain crackers in it. Cut to another container filled with a hard-boiled egg to which we add cherry tomatoes.

Christine: And I see, I love the variety that you've picked here because that again gives people more options.

Visual : We see Christine putting the different food containers along with the ice pack in the backpack.

Zannat: Exactly.

Christine: And teaches kids maybe if you taste it once or twice, the fifth time they're gonna to love it.

Zannat: Exactly.

Christine: So it's really trying and getting into the habit. So for more quick healthy lunch tips, visit us online at

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