I have three kids who are in school, which means that there are three kids who need to have lunches made. When the last school year ended I had a Twitter/Facebook status about not having to pack school lunches and it was favorited, retweeted, liked, and commented upon multiple times. Hatred of making school lunches seems to unite us all.
Here’s what I do to make it a little less horrendous, and more manageable.
1. Pack the lunch kits the day before. Every once in awhile I’ll decide to put off packing lunches until the morning, and then I am reminded why that was a no good, very bad idea. Mornings are extremely hectic with three (or any) kids. There’s breakfast to be made/eaten/cleaned up, everyone needs to get dressed in weather-appropriate clothing, somebody is always unable to find their shoes and there’s a mad rush to get out the door in time.
2. Take advantage of hot lunch days. Our school has hot lunch days on Fridays, which we generally don’t do, because we’re cheap. But! On Tuesdays they can get a $2 slice of pizza, which means that we only have to pack snacks. It’s marginally less horrendous, but somehow not dealing with making sandwiches makes me so happy.
3. Have your kids help. They are perfectly capable of grabbing snacks and packing them. As they get older, they can even make sandwiches. I KNOW.
4. Kill two birds with one stone. On Sundays, when I’m making lunches (with my kids’ help), I pack their lunches for school at the same time. Everything is out already, so it makes sense just to get it done. There’s no need to haul out all of the sandwich supplies again later that day.
5. Use leftovers, when you can. My kids aren’t a big fan of leftovers — which is fine, their Dad and I use them for our own lunches — but occasionally there’s something they like to have included in their lunch kit.
Not sure what recipes make good lunches? Check out these 10 easy meals to put in your kid’s lunch box!
Do you have any tips for making school lunches easier?