Tuesday, September 2, 2008

{kid's school lunches}

So today is the first day of school in our neck of the woods. It involves a ton of preparation so the mornings run smoothly around here. The 7:30am school bus comes awfully early! So the more things I can get done before the morning, the better.

I've been enjoying posts like this and this that have really got me thinking about what I can do ahead of time. The kids and I spent some time creating a master list for school lunches broken into 3 categories: main dishes, fruits/veggies, and snacks. The list is upstairs and I'm down, so I'll give you a sample list from my brain (its scary in there, I know).

Main Dishes

  • spaghetti-o's
  • chicken salad sandwich or crackers (will be referred to as s/c)
  • tuna salad s/c
  • egg salad s/c
  • pb & j sandwich
  • turkey, ham, or bologna sandwich
  • homemade lunchable
  • leftovers
  • bagel & cream cheese


  • apple
  • applesauce
  • oranges
  • mandarin oranges
  • banana
  • cold veggies & ranch (carrots, celery)
  • fruit salad

Snack (salty treat or dessert-type treat)

  • crackers
  • nabs crackers
  • chex mix
  • homemade quick breads (banana, zuccini, pumpkin)
  • cookies
  • homemade muffins
  • chips

Remember, this is just a sample list of some of the things I remember from our custom list. I have been a menu/meal planner for quite a while now...really since I've been married (our 11 year anniversary is this month!). But for some reason, I've only pre-planned and written out our dinners. Never breakfasts or lunches. But I am going to add that into the planning session from now on. It is going to be so freeing not to have to "dream up" what to pack in the kids' lunches each morning. It will already be decided...AAAND...I'll have everything in the house, because those ingredients will have been added to my grocery list during that planning session. Some of those items might already be pre-prepared, packaged up, and frozen. Seriously...such a simple solution, but something I hadn't done, nonetheless.

For more kitchen tips, head over to Tammy's Recipes.

Blog notes: the cute picture is a bento lunch . I'm going to be learning more about that type of packing method soon!

14 love notes to me!:

Sherry said...

The bento lunch is cute! WE just came back last year from Japan and know all about those. :D Thanks for sharing your lunches!!

Michele said...

I love having breakfasts & lunches planned out. It makes the mornings go so much easier!

Hope your kids have a great school year!

Sandy Toes said...

I love the organization of your lunches but my kids are so picky they would not eat most of that. They like all the fruit but the "sandwich" is the problem! I am going to try more ham and turkey but I think we will end up going back to cheese or peanut butter!

What fun! I always make the lunches the night before and it makes it easier in the morning!

-Sandy Toes

Diane said...

First day back to school for my daughter and me too. How are you feeling????????????

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Ohh what a great idea...going grocery shoppin tomorrow and will def. be using some of your ideas....I get very uncreative in trying to think things up for my son. cherry

Joy said...

Wow I'm very impressed with your lunch list. My youngest gets whatever my husband decides to fix him. A few years ago I exercised during lunch packing time so my husband started doing it. Now it's kind of a tradition and their "bonding" thing.

Misty said...

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Chambers Family said...

I'm the same way with remembering dinners but forgetting BK and Lunch. Thanks for the ideas! My question is how do you get the healthy thing going for yourself?? I get stuck eating mac n' cheese because I don't feel like fixing something else too!

Chambers Family said...

Yeah for the bag..I was so excited and I'm glad you got it so fast!! I was over there on Monday showing it off to RuthAnn and she told me she would send it. Wow! I hope it made your day:) said...

These are great ideas! My oldest just started preschool so we aren't at the lunch packing stage yet, but it is right around the corner. I will keep it mind. Thanks!

Carol said...

Great idea. I always end up doing the same just cos I am too lazy to plan.

The White House said...

Thanks so much for the lunch ideas- I am always struggling to come up with new stuff for lunches. Happy POW!

Joe Girl said...

What a splendid, fantabulous idea! I need to post a similar list somewhere - maybe inside my pantry door. One of my back-to-school missions is to do a ton of "healthy" baking, so my son's lunchbox isn't filled with processed snacks from the grocery store. Great post, Jen!

Happy POW!

Emily Marie said...

Jen, I have to say Thank you! I also plan dinners but have NEVER been good about lunch. Thank you for this list idea, I am copying and will add/take out things that we want! Hurray for finding your blog :)