It is hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end and we are all gearing up for the school year. As much as I look forward to the fall and holiday season, getting all the kids organized, ready, and prepared for the school year is tough. Many schools provide lunches for the kids, but some do not. I pack 3 little lunch boxes every day for each one of my kids. With getting them all up and out of bed, dressed, fed, and ready for their day, making lunches can be challenging. So today, I’m discussing my top tips on preparing and making lunches for school during your typical stressful morning!
My Top Tips On Preparing and Making School Lunches:
Pack The Night Before:
- With 3 lunches to pack, this is a huge time saver for me.
- We all know how hectic and crazy the mornings can be getting all the kids fed, dressed, and out the door. Making lunches the night before really saves time and makes a big difference in the mornings.
Pick The Right Supplies:
- I love PackIt lunch boxes. These lunch boxes have built in freezable gel packs so you do not have to use ice packs. You just place the whole lunch box in the freezer and it will keep the food cold for up to 10 hours. I make my kids lunches the night before and place the food in a Ziploc. I place the lunch boxes in the freezer and in the am just transfer the lunches into the lunchbox. You do not have to deal with ice packs, melting ice, or warm food. I LOVE these lunch boxes.
- I am obsessed with these tupperware lunch containers designed for packing lunches. I get them at Old Navy. They are the perfect size and have the perfect number of compartments to pack a well balanced lunch.
- Do not forget you can pack warm meals and open up your options. This is great for me and my kids because they aren’t so keen on sandwiches. You can pack meals like spaghetti, chicken tenders, rice, or whatever they love. I LOVE FooGo thermoses. They are the perfect size for lunch boxes, keep the food warm for hours, do not leak, and come in all different kids patterns.
Use a Peanut Butter Substitute:
- We all know their are strict rules with schools and peanut butter, but some kiddos just love peanut butter and jelly. I find great substitutes that taste just like peanut butter but are peanut free. Your kiddos won’t even know the difference. My favorite ones are at Trader Joe’s!
Organization is Key:
- I know Katie will make fun of me for this one but like I said before, pack the night before! You will thank me for this one! PROMISE!
- Create a “lunch caddy” station! Get a small organization caddy and place all your go to lunch box items in them. Then when you are packing, it is easy to just grab and go.
Tips For Picky Eaters:
- I am well versed in the child that will not eat anything. I have 2 of them! I have found over the years that 3 things really help to get my child to eat more variety:
- Let them help you make their lunch or any meal. This helps them feel like they are a part of the decision and are proud of what they make (and let’s be honest, many times our kids are picky eaters as a control tactic. Mommy and daddy say eat, and they refuse).
- If your child’s school offers meals, let your child get school lunches (of course if you are comfortable with the meals they are providing). I find that my kiddos are more willing to try and eat different foods when their parents are not hovering over them.
- Use cute cut outs to make the food more fun and entertaining. There are so many to chose from. I love fun bites! Let them pick out which shapes they want. The more control they feel they have over the food they are eating, the better the results you will have.
My Favorite Lunch Recipes:
- This is a great link for some easy snacks that are peanut free!
I hope this article was helpful in preparing and making back to school a little less hectic. I know this is hard time and can get overwhelming with lots of moving parts. I always try and take a step back and remember that this time goes by so fast. Before we know it, our kids will be grabbing their on food on the go, and we will miss those days of cutting cute hearts in their cheese sandwiches and begging them to eat their fruit. Happy back to school!