Updated: Dec 13, 2020
If you have school-aged kids in your home who do not want to eat school lunches, it can get be challenging. With a little prep and a lot of empowerment, organizing school lunches can become a breeze. Below are my top four tips on organizing school lunches.
TIP #1: Meal Plan
I'm a big fan of meal planning. My main reason is that I'm not an amazingly creative cook. My husband can look at the pantry and refrigerator and create a wonderful meal in no time. For me, I just kinda look at it all and freeze. But, when we meal plan the week out together, I have a game plan and it helps keep our family organized and de-stresses meal time.
TIP #2: Weekend Prep
Spending an hour on the weekend prepping for the week can save you from stressful situations throughout the week. Things you can prep on the weekend:
Decant larger bags of snacks - popcorn, chips and crackers can be decanted into smaller disposable or smaller reusable bags and containers.
Prep and store vegetables - it's easy to prep 10 small bags of carrots or celery at once and store in the refrigerator so it's ready for the week ahead.
Dedicate bins to snacks - creating bins for school lunch snacks, your pantry will be stocked and ready for the week ahead.
Make it fun - enlist the kids to help in the weekend prep. Playing music or making it fun can turn a boring task into 30 minutes of fun.
TIP #3: Empower the Kids
It's easy to get caught in the game of doing everything for your kids because you can do it faster. While that might be true that you are faster than a 5-year old, empowering your kids to make their own breakfast and lunches helps them grow and develop. You will, of course, need to remind and encourage your kids of what you expect from them, but transitioning to having your kids participate in the routines is helpful for all.
TIP #4: Set Out Self-Serve Bins
Putting out labeled bins on the counter that kids can select their lunch items themselves greatly reduces morning stress and empowers the kids to take responsibility for their lunch. This can also be done the night before for an even smoother morning routine.
If you're looking for product information on some of the organizing items I've featured, check out my curated list on Amazon here.