Does your child carry the same old lunch to school every day? We all get in a rut, and lunch can be turned into an enjoyable learning experience with a little extra effort. Yes, you must feed your child, but lunch is also a great way to teach them healthy choices and the importance of variety in life. If you spend just a little time each week planning, then make one shopping trip for the week you have added little extra time, but will make a big difference in the lunches you send to school.
Make a Plan
What are your child's likes and dislikes? Hop on the internet and search for kid's lunch recipes. You will get lot's of ideas. Also think outside of the "sandwich box". Using some plastic containers lets you prepare a multitude of menus. You might even want to look into a lunch system like the Laptop Lunch Bento Box which has 5 food containers so you can send a full meal to school. Another thing to consider is keeping some ready made lunches in the refrigerator for those days when you just can't get it together. Finally, make some quick notes on the weeks menu plan so you can get your shopping done and don't have to think during the week.
How many times have you run to store because you ran out of lunch food? The whole point of a plan is to save time in the long run. If you plan not only your lunch menu, but a weekly menu for the whole family, you can make one shopping trip and get everything you need for the week. Make sure you get extras of foods like canned tuna, peanut butter, granola bars, yogurt, lunch meats and cheese so you always will have some lunch foods in the house. Another great idea is take your children to the store and let them pick out a few items. That will get them involved and they are less likely to trade their lunch or throw it out.
Pack Lunch in the Evening
This is one thing I can't stress enough. In most households, the morning is really hectic. Everyone has to get somewhere, and usually they are running late. You don't need the additional stress of packing a lunch at this time. You will pack a much better lunch if you do it the night before. If your children are old enough, have them clear the table and load the dishwasher while you pack their lunches. Another advantage is you have any leftovers right there and can add them to the lunch menu. Load your child's lunch bag and put it in the refrigerator. Now you can relax.