|Reusable Snack Bags|
Last time I wrote about dinner time and meal planning, shortcuts, etc. Today I'd like to share a bit about lunch time. On weekends and (admittedly) during the summer, lunch can be a "Gee, it's noon and everyone is hungry. What should we do?" sort of affair. We always have bread and peanut butter, sometimes cold cuts and left overs. But come the school week, I like to remember lunch so that A). my kids don't starve at school, and B) I don't have to shell out for them to buy a school lunch. Now, this does not mean I have some sort of elaborate meal plan for the kids' packed lunches, or even that they get fancy theme-type lunches like you see on Pinterest. But I like to have options for the "entree" and for the snacks.
For the "entree" or sandwich, peanut butter is usually a good choice. My boys like peanut butter, hold the jelly. (I have NO idea how they choke it down, but no one has needed the Heimlich so far!) My daughter likes peanut butter and Fluff (I know, not healthy, but it's not an everyday lunch choice.) Teddybear will take a salad or even what we call a wrap, which is just a flour tortilla with lettuce and some dressing, cheese and steak or chicken from leftovers. I try to have healthy options, and am very grateful for a cookbook I bought a few years ago called Disney's The Magic Kitchen Cook Book.
Now, if the thought of packing lunches every morning for the next 9 to 10 months doesn't appeal, here are some tips to make it easier.
- Talk to your kids about what they would like for lunch. I know, seems silly, but they might have a great idea. This doesn't mean they are going to get what they want, but it's a starting point.
- Have a cupboard, shelf, drawer or some other place devoted to just lunch box foods. I keep all of the "kids'" food in one cupboard, along with snack cups, plastic silverware (which we reuse, but is less heartbreaking if someone throws it out or forgets it!), etc.
- Start the night before. I try to remember to have the kids bring their lunch boxes to the kitchen so I don't have to hunt them down the next morning. Then I get out the bread, crackers, fruit, and other non-perishable items and their packaging. When I get up in the morning I don't have to go all over the place to get what I need, just a trip to the fridge for anything that could spoil.
- If you want to send carrot or celery sticks, cut them up all at once at the beginning of the week, then you aren't trying to get them done while fighting with your 6 year old to get their clothes on and teeth brushed!
- Have the kids do as much as they can on their own! This isn't always a good option for us because Daddy is usually in the kitchen packing his lunch (I'm not allowed to. He says he doesn't get enough to eat when I pack his lunch!), so it's best if it's just Mama and Daddy in the kitchen. Do what is best for your family.
- Just a note to let you know that I do not receive any compensation for any of the books I mention in my posts or featured on the side of the blog. I just like to share what I have enjoyed and think others might, too!