Named “One of America’s Best Work/Life Balance Resources,” Maria is known for her innovative solutions for today everyday mom challenges. She is the Founder of, Host of Mom Talk Radio and Host of The Balancing Act on Lifetime TV. Let Maria help you find smart solutions to motherhood.

Preparing school lunches

Question: I never seem to have enough time in the morning to get the kids ready and school lunches packed. Any suggestions? - Jennifer P.

Answer: We've all experienced that morning rush while we try to pack nutritious lunches and get ourselves ready for work. The solution to the lunch preparation crunch is to prepare in advance.

Create a snack basket in your kitchen. It's easy and will help you save a few minutes during the week. On Sunday, go through the cabinets and package any open boxes of treats into small Ziploc bags. Pile all the snack-size bags into a big basket or box and keep it handy during the week as you toss together your child's lunch.

Don't forget to pack in some healthy fruits and veggies. Prepare one-serving size of grapes, carrots or strawberries as soon as you come home from the grocery store. Store these in the fridge on one shelf or drawer.

On a morning when you are running late, you'll appreciate the quickness of just grabbing prepackaged lunch elements while avoiding the cost of buying individually packaged foods.

To keep sandwiches chilled, freeze your juice boxes the night before. They can double in the lunch box as a drink and ice-pack.