Wednesday, August 16, 2017

# back to school

The H*LL of School Lunches

Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

I hate school lunches and I am starting my 7th yes 7th year of packing them for my kids who hate everything we have packed. Packing school lunches sucks. My kids get burned out, I get burned out. They don't don't like to buy at school because it isn't great food (they keep changing the the rules for school lunches). You have to worry about allergies even if your kids don't have any. You have to do it every single darn stinking day. It is hard and painful. I actually might like to get a shot than have to pack lunches. Packing lunch day in and day out is the pure definition of insanity. 

So with that I need help and lots of it.  I need a way to make it easy on me, a variety of items for the kids to choose from and find a way we don't all burn out on it. Here is my great school lunch experiment that I m trying this school year. I need to make it easy one me and more in the kids hands when it comes to being responsible for the own lunches.

As you all know I am a planner for my meals and lunch should be no exception with this but it gets hard so very hard. Have you gotten how hard I think it is.

A plan has been put in place for school lunches this year and let's hope that this "experiment" can work and become part of our weekly routine and that the kids don't feel so burned out on PB &J's.

First and foremost, I scoured Pinterest for ideas for lunch planning and well let's say there are so many ideas and options. You can easily get overwhelmed with it so stick with what jumps out at you for your comfort level.

The one thing I found that I really liked was creating fridge lunch containers where I can stick a week's worth of lunch items in there for the kids to grab and go. I think this will help in having them decide what they want for the day.

Here are my bins and yes they are already labeled.

My kids have already started using them for the fruits and veggies. 

Every Sunday, I am "planning" on working on making 5 lunches per kid for the week. 

The ideas I have for the first two weeks are as follows:

School Lunch Menu
Week 1                                                                        Week 2

      Mini pizza                                                                   Crescent roll ups
PB & J                                                                          PB & J
                            Turkey roll ups                                                            Turkey Lunchables                                                     
Chicken Nuggets                                                         Nuggets
Corn Dog bites                                                            Turkey wrap

These are all things I know my kids will eat. I also switched it up with two hot items for the kids. They really wanted to have something hot a few times a week. I purchased a thermos like this:

So I put on a few things that can be heated up for school. My daughter did her test run of hot food for her camp last week and she said it worked well but of course she had a few adjustments. 

I have containers that I can build things like homemade lunchables and mini pizza kits. As much as I love the ease of prepackaged meals and yes they come in handy when I am super burned out, the effort of making one is really not much more. 

For the Turkey Lunchables:

Cut Cheese
Cut Turkey

For the Mini Pizza

A deli round
shredded cheese
pepperoni slices
tomato sauce

The dollar store has tons of cute containers to store. I got the tiny ones for stuff like the cheese and tomato sauce so when the lunches are being tossed about things stay where they are suppose to. 

I also can use them for condiments like BBQ sauce and mustard. I think BBQ sauce actually runs through my kid's veins she eats so much of it. I should take stock in Sweet Baby Ray's because that is here favorite.

I also have a snack station that the kids can pick out from as well.  I figure that if the kids have choices in lunch and  have some say in what they want, that maybe just maybe that this might go easier for everyone. 

I have a chart for my fridge as well where the kids are suppose to pick one thing from each category so that they get a balanced diet and that they aren't packing all sweets (yes I have spot checked to find  a lunch of mostly desserts in the past).

I am really hoping that by...

1. Doing weekly planning.
2. Have the kids have some say in what we make. 
3. They are responsible for packing their lunch.

I will keep everyone updated on this experiment and let you all know how it is going. I really hope we have keep this up for the long haul!

Tanks for stopping by!

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