They’re coming. You can’t stop them. You have to face them head on.
I am of course talking about…the dreaded school lunches.
If you’re anything like me – or most parents for that matter – the number one thing that comes to mind when you think about back to school is…packing lunches! (You just let out a disgusted sigh and rolled your eyes didn’t you? I did.)
Every September, I start off with the best of intentions. I jump on Pinterest and pin all kinds of things like…
“100 healthy school lunches your kids will love!”
“Great lunch ideas for kids so they don’t get bored!”
“One million lunch ideas that don’t have sandwiches!!!”
Okay, that last one might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. I make a plan, and the plan usually works for a couple months. But with June still fresh in my mind, I know by the end of the school year, I’ll basically be grabbing whatever I can find in the fridge and cupboards and slapping it in their lunch box. And I know I’m not alone.
So, since we’re all CONSTANTLY looking for ways to keep those school lunches healthy and exciting, I’ve put together some simple and practical tips that I’ve found to be pretty useful. Which basically means they don’t involve making sandwiches into cookie cutter flowers or assembling fruit kabobs that look like caterpillars. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both adorable – but not all parents have that kind of time (or patience!) at night or in the morning rush.
Here are 4 tips to help make packing those dreaded school lunches a little easier:
Prepare ahead – This is by far the most helpful tip! When you cut up fruits, veggies and cheese ahead of time – it makes packing lunches SO MUCH easier! Cut up their favourites and make them easily accessible in the fridge. I find I pack them healthier lunches when everything I need is done ahead of time and easy to grab.
Mix it up – This is a good one too. We all know kids. And kids get bored. I mean, would YOU want the exact same lunch every single day? I know I wouldn’t. So I try and mix things up and give them different foods every day. A sandwich one day, some muffins the next, then maybe a wrap. I mix up the snacks too with different fruits, veggies and crackers.
Invest in good containers - I picked up some pretty awesome lunch containers that have made it a lot easier (complete with Mabel’s Labels of course!). These have made it A LOT easier to plan lunches. And they fit perfectly in their lunch bag!
Let them help – When I let my guys help decide what goes in their lunch, they tend to eat better. So since I pack lunches while they’re eating breakfast, I’ll ask them… “Cucumbers or peppers today?” “Goldfish or Vegetable Thins?” “Sandwich or Wrap?” I give them two choices and it makes them feel like they’ve had some say in what goes in their lunch.
If you’ve got some tips that make packing school lunches a breeze, I’d love to hear ‘em! I’m always looking for ways to keep things fresh, exciting, and healthy!
Happy lunch packing!