I am the typical mom. Which is why my blog is named, Tips From a Typical Mom. My life is so unorganized, chaotic, crazy and messy. But, sometimes I have a great idea that really works. And this is one of them. My kids school lunches. I believe that kids should learn how to help take care of themselves. So I don’t do everything for them. I help guide them and help them make good decisions, but when it comes to packing a lunch, they’ve got this!
Today I appeared on our local FOX Station and did a segment on “The Place”. Let me tell you, I was way out of my comfort zone. I grew up a performer, but I danced, I didn’t talk, so this was new for me. I shared with the audience how to make school lunches easy. And so now I’m here telling all my other readers that you can do this. If your kids hate waiting in the Jr. High School Lunch Line because it takes forever and they don’t have time to eat, or if they are coming home starving because they don’t like the food that the school is serving, school lunches are for your family. There are a few very important steps you have to take to make this process run smoothly in your home. So let’s begin.
- Organize Yourself:
- Get the family involved in the process by choosing what they will eat. Each month get out your free printable calendar, foods list, and shopping list and get to work figuring out what the kids want for their school lunches that month. Use the foods list to help the kids choose a variety of foods so you don’t get stuck eating the same things over and over. Make sure that the foods your kids are choosing are foods they will eat. Don’t send food to school with your child if you know they won’t eat it. Use 4 shopping lists so you can have one each week when you go shopping. You don’t want to buy a months worth of fresh veggies and fruits, they will go bad before you can use them all. Download your free printables HERE.
- Printable Food List: Lists a bunch of food by category to help choose a variety.
- Printable Calendar: Helps you each night prepare and each week’s shopping trips.
- Printable Shopping List: Helps you get out of the store faster.
- Organize your kitchen:
- Wash all the fruits and veggies when you buy them and then pre-package them.
- Bulk is cheaper, so when you get home divide up the crackers and treats into bags.
- Designate a shelf in your pantry and fridge just for school lunches.
- Label how many of each food item your kids can choose from each bin.
- Have the family help clean up the kitchen after dinner then set out what they want for lunch the next day in a designated spot on the counter-top. That way, in the morning, they can just grab their bag, fill it with the stuff from the counter, and grab their fruit and veggie and drink from the fridge, and they’re done.
- Don’t buy foods or pack foods your kids won’t eat. If you want to introduce new foods to your kids, do it at dinner time. If you’re not there when they are eating, and it’s something new, chances are, they won’t even try it.
- Don’t pack your kids too much food. They will throw it away or bring it home and you’ll find it a few weeks later all moldy and gross in their backpacks.
- Use reusable containers as much as possible to cut back on waste.
- Use Pack-It lunch boxes so their foods and drinks will stay cool. These lunch boxes have the cooling gel built right into the walls of the lunch box. So you just throw it in the freezer at night, and in the morning you are good to go with a lunch box that will keep your foods nice and cool.
- Send a fun or inspirational note in their boxes each day to uplift them. I have 4 free printable sheets for you and 4 blank ones for you to fill in with whatever note you want. These are so fun and your kids will remember them forever. Download them HERE.
- If you’re child is having a hard time making friends, maybe send them with an extra treat in their lunch box with a note that says, “Share this with someone who needs a friend”.
- When it’s your kids birthday, wrap all their food items in wrapping paper for fun
- On a side note, here’s a fun fact . . . Cut your sandwiches on an angle because they don’t get squished in the bag that way.
I hope some of these ideas will help your mornings run more smoothly. What are some things you do to make lunches fun for your family?