Have you ever been so tired that you have overslept and remembered that besides getting yourself ready, you now have to make your child’s lunch?
Chances are, (even though I don’t have kids of my own, but have taken care of several) you either wind up giving them money for a school lunch or in my case, have felt so guilty that you go to the nearest fast food place and get them their favorite Kids Meal as a treat.
Since, the little ones are gone and now adults themselves, I figured that the tips I’m about to give you can help get organized so that fixing lunches becomes quick and easy. Ultimately, this should save you a lot of time without all the hassles in the long run.
Start With A List And Go Shopping
Start by sitting down with your kids and come up with a list of lunches they like. This could include sandwiches and wraps, or even homemade lunchables, but it doesn’t have to stop there. If you add a thermos to the mix, you can suddenly pack reheated leftovers like homemade soups or their favorite drink. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack.
Make sure you have appropriate containers, and then head to the grocery store to pick up everything you need for the week. Don’t forget about snacks and drinks as needed. The list should make this much easier. Once you have several different lunch ideas your kids like and will actually eat, you can simply rotate through them and make the ingredients part of your weekly shopping trips.
Prep What You Can As Soon As You Get Home
When you get home from the store, keep lunch foods out and see what you can do to prep things ahead of time. Instead of putting that bag of grapes away, go ahead and wash and store them in little bags you can grab and toss in the lunch box. The same goes for things like carrots and even salads. Slice cheese as needed and just think about what else they love and can prep as soon as you get home.
Pack Lunches The Night Before
This next tip is a total godsend. I even do this now since my little cousins no longer live with us and I now have to get lunches ready for two elderly females who used to pack my lunches for school as a child.
Let’s face it, mornings are busy and not always the perfect time to have to worry about packing lunches. So, I try making them the night before after dinnertime. Get the kids involved and have them help with lunch prep and clean-up after. You can store cold items in the fridge and have everything else sitting in the lunch box ready to go. It won’t take you long to get into a rhythm of preparing lunches while you’re cleaning up after dinner. You’ll appreciate this new habit in the mornings when all you need to do is grab a couple of things from the fridge and toss them in the lunch boxes.
Get In The Habit Of Cleaning Lunch Boxes As Soon As The Kids Get Home
To make lunch prep even easier, get the kids into the habit of cleaning out their lunch box as soon as they get back from school. Even the youngest can help with this. Have them toss any uneaten food and bring the containers to the sink to be washed. Older children can easily clean their own containers, while you’ll probably have to do the washing for your youngest. Having everything clean and ready to go will make it easier to pack the new lunches later on in the day.
Stick to these tips and it won’t take you long to get into an efficient lunch packing routine that will make it a snap. Don’t forget to get the kids involved and put them in charge of much of the preparations. Not only will this make your live easier in the long run, it will give them a sense of ownership over their lunch.