School Lunch Made Easy

this product was gifted to me but all options are my own

Confession, I was never that kid that brought a lunch from home, for as long as I can remember I’ve always eaten school lunch. When I became a mother and my children entered the school-age phase of life school lunch wasn’t even a thought. My main focus at the time has finding the right school for their needs, making sure their needs were met, the quality of the staff, the student body, etc. Then school rolls around and I became the mom that sends my kids to school with lunch every day. I never made a conscious decision about it. I never read blogs and thought how cute it would be to send them off on their first day with an apple-shaped sandwich and a cute little I LOVE YOU note. The first to start their school journey was my son King. If you’ve been following me for a while then you know King has autism, but at the beginning of his school journey, he has just considered language-impaired and speech delayed. However, King has ALWAYS, been an extremely picky eater. He has gotten so much better because at this time there were about three things he would eat. With him being away from home for the first time, in a new environment, and nonverbal the last thing I wanted him to have to worry about was food. Also, with so many concerns and questions entering this new phase of life the one thing that brought me comfort, as I waited for his school days to end and I could physically see how he was, was knowing he at least had something he liked to eat. As Aya entered school her battle with asthma and allergies became a huge factor. Her school is now nut-free, but I wanted to make sure she would have something yummy and safe to eat. She was pretty vocal about her allergy even at that young age of four and the school was aware but I thought better safe than sorry. Now that I’m a school-age pro with all three children in school I’ve come to a few conclusions. Preparing school lunches every day can be a task and trying to come up with different lunch ideas can be a headache. Down below I’ll be sharing with you 5 way to make preparing school lunches easy featuring Stuck On You

1. Keep It Simple: In the age of parenting on the gram, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to go above and beyond with your child’s lunch. Lunches for Likes as we jokingly refer to it as. Don’t get me wrong if you have the time and skill to go in, by all means, do it! I love those adorable Pinterest looking lunches. For me it’s not realistic, I get burnt out extremely quick trying to live up to those standards every day. I will say it’s a great way to get your creativity out as a mom. I would suggest saving those lunches for special occasions, the first day of school, their birthday, or even holidays. Try sticking to a simple well-rounded lunch formula. Our family has been using the Stuck On You bento-style lunch boxes and these are perfect for that simple formula concept. Each lunch box tray has 5 labeled compartments. There is a spot for fruits, veggies, protein, grains, dairy plus space for yogurt, sauce, or dip. If you stick to that then you can’t go wrong. 

2. Buy Multiple Lunch Packing Supplies: There is nothing worse than having your kid leave their lunch box at school and you have nothing else on hand for the next day. Or only having one set of snack pouches, or in our case one set of bento box trays which means you have to wash everything every day. Now I’m going to be real here. I would love to be that mom that always has her stuff together but truthfully there are those days that I fall asleep without washing the dishes, or they forget to take our their trays for me to wash and I forget to remind them to do so. It happens. Having extra lunch supplies handy makes things a little less stressful,

3. Plan Out Your School Lunch Ideas: This one right here not only helps me save time, but it also helps me with brainstorm new lunch ideas while also helping my picky eaters. While King would probably be ok with having the same lunch made the same way for a while eventually he’d be over it to the point where he will longer eat it at all. Aya, on the other hand, needs to spice things up and Lennox needs different versions of the same thing if that makes sense. So to avoid all the beautiful chaos that these kids create, even when it comes to meals, we prep. Having a schedule like leftover Monday, breakfast for lunch Tuesday, sandwich Wednesday, Lunchable Thursday, and pizza Friday helps us keep the options contained. We already know that on Monday we will be having Sundays leftover for lunch with a twist. 

4. Shop Lunch Ingredients Ahead Of Time: Now that you have your lunch ideas all together making sure you have everything you need to pack those lunches is naturally the next step. When you have everything you need already brought and prepped it makes everything else go smooth. I also use this moment to get the kids involved as well. Having my picky eaters help shop for their food helps me get them excited about eating. In other words, this helps us to lessen the chance of waste. There is nothing like putting in all this effort just to have them not eat anyway.  

5. LET THEM EAT….school lunch: You’re running late and don’t have time to make lunch? eThey left their lunchbox at school the day before? You drove all the way across town only for your kid to tell you they left their lunch on the kitchen table? LET THEM EAT LUNCH AT SCHOOL. I did growing up and plenty of kids do it every day. They will be fine.  

I hope these tips were helpful and if you have any of your own don’t be shy share them below. We need all the help we can get in this MOTHERhood.