Making school lunches seems to be an energy drain for most families. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are some ideas to help you make 2015 a stress-free school lunch year:
Sign them up for pizza lunch and accept all “bring a friend home for lunch invitations” they can wrangle! Not every meal has to be as healthy as the menu at Canyon Ranch Spa. Balance their need for nutrition with your need for sanity.
2. One list & one rotation
Create a list together with your children of 5 lunches that they enjoy. Most of our stress comes from thinking “WHAT CAN I MAKE FOR LUNCH TODAY?” It’s the need to think creatively that exhausts us. Well, I say forget creativity! You’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest. Go for a pragmatic formula instead. Research shows most families eat the same 4 or 5 meals over again and again for dinner. Why not apply the same principle to lunch? Once you have the lunch list, your only work is in making sure the items are on the grocery list, and packing it.
3. Pack strategically
Mornings are a pressure keg. Take some of the stress off by packing lunches at some other time of day – maybe the most low-key time of your day is right after kids go to bed? Or pack them while you simmer dinner on the stove. Heck, why not pack three days worth of lunches at once?
4. Let the kid’s solve the boredom problem
If your kids complain they are tired of getting wieners and beans for lunch, explain you will happily remove them from the list of 5 lunches, once replacement school lunch recipes have been discovered. Have them scout out lunch options by looking at what their friends are packing. Imitation is the highest form of flattery isn’t it?
5. Pass the torch
Eventually, you’ll want your kids doing this job for themselves. That means you should spend time teaching your children to pack their own lunch, so you can pass the torch on to them. Kids tend to eat better when they pack their own lunches, so the earlier the better!
About the Author:
Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine. Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”. She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com