Raise your hand if making your kid’s lunch is a dreaded chore… Can I just be honest and say that I hope my son likes the food at the cafeteria when he goes to school? I liked it! I hope he does, too.
I realized that this was a huge pain-point in my day when every single morning I was running behind usually because of one thing… lunches. I don’t know about you, but that is not how I want to start my day before I drop my kid off and get to work.
1) Make it the day before.
This is huge. Seriously, do it once, and you’ll see. Prepping it when you’re not rushed makes it an overall better experience, period. I usually make my son’s lunch after we have dinner. It’s like my final goodbye to the kitchen for the day.
2) Get organized.
You need containers. I highly recommend these! I bought them on a whim and didn’t even realize how much they would change the game for me. They are stackable- which means you can put containers on top of each other decreasing the likelihood of them falling over, spilling, and leaking in the backpack (that’s happened more than once to us!) And y’all, it’s stackable with the icepack. You just have to see it to understand- so click here. Even the reviews are good on Amazon- y’all, this is seriously a game changer. Btw: I own 2 sets and that’s worked perfectly for my one child.
These containers are for my kid’s lunches only. Not for left overs (that aren’t for lunch). Not for storage. Kid’s lunches only! You don’t have time to be searching. I bought a cute basket and I put all of Worth’s lunch containers in there. I always know where they are, and it’s separate from our storage containers. So no one is grabbing them for other things. His school requires his name to be on every single item we send in his school lunch. If you have a Cricut make some vinyl letters. If you don’t, pay your friend to make some for you. We all have a friend with a Cricut. Worth’s name has not come off in over a year- another thing I did once and DONE!
If you are making lunches for multiple kiddos and they share a last name, I recommend putting that on the containers so that all of them work for all kids! (Don’t forget to buy gender neutral colored containers too. My son is only 3 and I already know he wouldn’t appreciate a pink lid on his sandwich.)
3) Make it fun for you and them.
I’m not a Pinterest mom. I’m 100% an amazon prime mom. So, cute crafty lunches are not my thing, but I don’t dread making his lunches with these fun little tools. Worth is super into dinosaurs. I found this little Dinosaur Sandwich Cutter and had to pick it up. He loves it! I cut his sandwiches in half anyways- this just makes it more fun. I just looked and they have them in all kind of shapes! Omg- this is too cool! This set has the dinosaur cutter plus a whole lot more. I’m loving the cutter that make the sandwich a puzzle. See, I told you this is fun.
4) Always have 2 “go-to” lunches on back up
When all else fails, these are two lunch meals you KNOW you can count on. Some weeks you might even rotate them. No shame in that game. These lunches consist of ingredients you normally always have and can be made in a pinch. The key here is to make sure you keep these ingredient in your home. Most of the items should have a fairly long shelf-life. For example, mine are 1) peanut-butter sandwich, yogurt, broccoli, apple sauce, and a banana 2) Turkey sandwich, apple sauce, yogurt, apple with peanut butter and broccoli.
The yogurt and apple sauce have a pretty long shelf-life (and they are super easy to just throw in the lunch box.) You can buy them in bulk on amazon (click here to see!)
Also, these GoGo Yogurts have saved me so many times. Worth only drinks water. He doesn’t care for milk. So, we go though a lot of yogurt in our house, and we run out of it a lot, too. My son loves these pouches. Again, it’s easy to throw in lunch box, no refrigeration needed before opening, and they are super yummy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given these to him on the way to school because we were running late. They are perfect for the car! Did you see where you can buy a 60-pack here?! I’m tempted.
5) Prep for the week.
I try to give my son a lunch with a fruit, veggie, protein, and dairy. I don’t even try for the starch- that one happens pretty organically with zero effort. At the beginning of the week I will boil some eggs, steam broccoli, and make sure there’s enough fruit for a least one piece a day. I will then put them in the containers and voila – the biggest part of the prep is done. The “main portion” can be a sandwich or left-overs, whatever works for you and your family that week.
I hope these 5 steps help you as much as they have me. I can’t tell you how much it has changed the game for me. Our mornings are smoother and it helps me to keep our pantry stocked in advance. Leave a comment below and tell me if it makes things a little easier for you.
All my best,