September 9, 2016 by mamacravings
Confession: I hate making school lunches. I’m not sure what it is exactly about packing lunches that makes me grumble, but I would rather scrub a toilet than pack a lunch. Also, I get a bit dramatic when it comes to lunches.
1.) Prep the night before.
My biggest and simplest tip is to start the night before. When I am rushing around 10 minutes before the morning bus arrives, my kid goes to school with lunch that is sub-par and unbalanced. Packing the night before alleviates the stress and allows me to put more thought into a healthier and filling lunch.
2.) Stock a sides and snacks box.
Typically I don’t like pre-packaged, individual servings of groceries. It’s cheaper to buy them in bigger batches and has less waste. However, when it comes to lunches, I cut myself some slack.
What I don’t buy in individualized packaging, I sort out after our weekend grocery store trip.
To keep those sides and snacks handy, I store them in a plastic container in the fridge. It takes just a few seconds to grab Eli’s and my favorite, nutritious items when they are already within arm’s reach.
3.) Have a small list of g0-to favorites.
I love lists and Pinterest and getting cute with the typically mundane details in life, but I have found that lunches is not where I take a turn towards creativity. Instead I stick to a list of known favorites to keep lunches simple and to keep my kid from coming home hungry…Apparently not all thermos lunches will be kept hot until lunchtime. That’s another Pinterest fail for the mama.
Eli’s go-to favorite entrees are:
- ham and cheese pinwheels (ham, cheese, lettuce and ranch dressing all rolled into a whole wheat tortilla and then sliced into bite-size pieces)
- 2 muffins (triple berry happens to be his favorite)
- handmade lunchable (crackers, small slices of cheese and a pick of pepperoni or sliced turkey)
- salad (varies based on what we have in the fridge)
- classic sandwich (switched up with being served on bread, bagels and in pita bread)
What are your best lunch packing tips and tricks?