4 Tips for Packing School Lunches + Free Printable
Ask any mom what she dislikes about the school year. I am willing to bet that packing lunches is high on her list. I know it definitely makes my top 5!
Since I don’t really enjoy packing lunches, I try to make it as easy on all of us as possible.
With that in mind, here are my tips for packing school lunches in a quick and simple way.
Get the kids involved.
Our kids are expected to pack their own lunches starting in kindergarten. That doesn’t mean my expectations for our 5 year old are the same as they are for the 11 year old.
Now that the older kids have several years of practice under their belts, they don’t need much help any more (as long as I have the groceries around here to make it easy!).
This year we will spend a lot of time teaching our five year old daughter to learn the fine art (ahem) of packing lunches. By the end of the year, she’ll be able to make a sandwich and choose options from the other food groups to complete a meal.
Do it the night before.
I know a lot of you will say that the sandwiches would be all soggy if you did it the night before, but my kids have never complained about it.
If you know that your kids will complain or just waste the food, pack everything except for sandwiches. It will be that much less to do. Snacky foods can be bagged or containered (yes, that’s a word…now) the night before. Fruits can be chosen and washed.
A place for everything.
When we pack the night before, I obviously don’t mean stick everything in the lunchbox. Sure, if you have items that won’t go bad (like a box of raisins), you can toss those in the lunchbox ahead of time.
Otherwise, I give each child their own basket (similar to this one) which is labeled with their name on it for less confusion. They put everything they want for lunch into that basket and leave it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, it’s a simple task of dumping that basket into their lunchbox and putting together a thermos of ice water. (Usually I make up thermoses while they eat breakfast and leave them on the counter to easily grab and go.)
Make a list
I print off my list of lunchtime ideas along with a copy of the school lunch menu, and hang them next to our lunch making supplies. That gives the kids ideas if they are tired of sandwiches every single day (although some of them would eat PB&J for every meal!).
These tips should help your family with the annoying task of packing lunches. Always try to keep it simple!
Did I miss a great tip? Let me know!