We are burned out.
And we don’t start school until next week.
I couldn’t help but confront it as I saw all those precious smiling back-to-school faces staring at me on this morning’s Facebook feed.
Adorable children from pre-K to high school who all have one thing in common. They need to eat lunch.
Well we got BURNED out. Our rule is they take lunch from home every day except one when they can order. They usually look at the school lunch menu and pick the day they want to order (we strongly encourage them to select the same day). Breakfast for lunch is always a kid favorite.
But other than that, school lunches were looking pretty dreary. We have minimal time. So it’s not going to look pretty folks. Bray and I both work and the kids all play sports and homework is ever increasing. We just want it to be moderately healthy and filling.
The eldest was universally selecting hot dogs. I got the lovely kosher 100% beef ones, but STILL. There has to be a limit. Little bit nearly always defaulted to peanut butter or salami. (Never together.) And the baby was more adventuresome but the repertoire was typically a sandwich, or pigs in a blanket, with a fruit and veggies or chips.
So I am determined to do better this year. The trio begins fourth grade next week which means this weekend is school lunch (and dinner) prep weekend. Get ready Sam’s, here I come.
I created a two page school lunch choices printable to pass out to the kids. They will be able to select their options for the four days they pack a lunch. Most of the choices I can prep the night before which will be a huge help because usually Bray is stuck lunch prepping in the morning before school.
You can’t tell from the screen shot, but I’ve got a school border around the page and little spaces for them to select what they want and turn in their “order.” (Email me if you want a copy for yourself.) I am setting rules. Basically, work together kiddos because I’m not buying nine different fruits this week. I’ve still got a budget. But otherwise, go nuts (literally if you want to).
Plus, they are allowed to add things to the list they want to try that I missed.
What do you pack that I’ve left off the list? And what are some great parenting hacks on packing school lunches? Because I’m determined it’s going to go better this year!
I found ideas from so many great resources on Pinterest and the interwebs, including from Real House Moms, The Kitchn, Savvy Honey, Happiness is Homeade, The Creative Bite, and Modern Honey.
What clever idea have we all missed? Share it so we can copycat you. Lunch-packing moms unite!
So that is what we do for summer much like you. My kid has a cool menu he picks from on Saturday and I shop and cook Sunday and reheat and pack during the week.
Not so much during school- his school has SUCH good food that I am jealous of it and he never wants me to pack lunch.
My biggest advice would be “lazy picnic” meaning whatever fun stuff is left in the fridge (edamame, egg salad, salads, wraps, goat cheese, leftover stir fry, popcorn, things tossed from odds and ends ) he loves lazy picnic.
My biggest help is stop the paper and plastic. Bamboo utensil kits. Cloth napkins. Beeswax paper. Silicon bags instead of ziplocks. Saves the planet and cash.