So, are you ready for a couple of weeks of back to school fun? School starts here in a couple of weeks, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to a little bit of a routine. Our school starts early, so the more prepared we are, the better. I try to have my kids lay out all their clothes the night before (you’d be surprised how much drama is caused by one missing shoe!). I also try to have backpacks completely ready to go. My part of the preparation process is lunch.
When my oldest started kindergarten, he had hot lunch at school probably five or six times. When he was in first grade I was pregnant and not feeling the best, so he had hot lunch a little bit more. Hot lunch is an economical option when you have one child at school, but this year I will have four kids in elementary, and lunch starts to add up! Not only that, but school lunch isn’t enough to fill my boys, so they end up going back for seconds!
This year my goal is to have my kids get hot lunch once every two weeks (they love pizza day), and prepare lunch at home the rest of the time. In order to help the kids have a little more ownership of the lunch situation, I’m going to try and let them plan as much of their meal as possible. I like a little formula to make it easier. One treat, one healthy thing and one “main.” A main doesn’t have to be a sandwich, it just needs to be something to give them healthy energy to get through the day.
At our school lunch is pretty early, so breakfast food can even work. For the lunch boxes we put together here, we went pretty basic: Cheese, bologna and crackers, a ham and cheese sandwich and a tortilla roll-up. For sweets we included marshmallow cereal treats, a mini candy bar, and some Chex Mix. The healthy part includes grapes, olives, cheese and tomatoes.
For the container we used Ziploc divided containers. These fit perfectly in my kids’ lunchboxes, and they’re easy to pack. You also have built in portion control! The only thing I go back and forth on is the drink. I’ll pack a juice sometimes, but I mostly like my kids to have water with their lunch. I’m probably the most boring mom ever, but I’ve got to save some fun stuff for home!
Here’s a handy guide if you’re stuck on something to put in the lunch box. Save it to your phone and it becomes an instant shopping list!