When my kids were in Kindergarten, they didn’t have the option of a hot lunch from school, so I had to pack them. There are a couple glaring problems with this. 1- I’m terribly irresponsible. 2- My kids don’t eat sandwiches. 3- I leave for work at 4am, they don’t leave for school until 7:30am, so I had to prep everything the night before (when I would remember).
After forgetting a couple times, which forced my husband to run to Wawa and buy them Lunchables, I came up with a routine which nearly always sometimes worked. Listen, neither of my kids died of starvation, so that’s a win.
1 – I set a reminder on my phone. Every night at 8pm it tells me to make (or now order) my kids’ lunch.
2 – No sandwiches? No problem! I bought cute little bento-style-boxes and put all the normal sandwich fixings in them. One compartment was for cheese, another for meat, sometimes I’d even make them eat fruit or veggies, and of course dessert (which might be all they ate – let’s be realistic). Add crackers instead of bread.
3 – To change things up a little, I bought those little stirrer-straws (which are perfect for holding olives in my martinis) and scored the meat and cheese on them, making little kabobs. I have to tell you, the first time I sent this idea in with my daughter, I got a call from the principal because she thought it was so cute.
4 – My kids were ADDICTED to the yogurt you get in a tube, similar to an icepop, so that’s what I made them. They’re perfect for a healthy morning snack (still a bit frozen) and they’re usually thawed, but still cold for lunch.
Which reminds me – HEALTHY SNACKS. Every parent’s worst nightmare. As much as we all want to believe our kids eat healthy – when you have a school judging the “healthy” snack you send in with your kid it adds a whole new level of anxiety – or in my case, shame.
1 – Popcorn. We pop ours at home in a silicone popper in the microwave and it doesn’t even need oil. Check it out HERE
2 – Pretzels.
3 – Cheese and cracker packs. My kids prefer the ones with the fake cheese that you dip that little stick into and spread it on the cracker. Hey, it’s better than chips. Maybe not, but it appears better than chips.
4 – Baby carrots.
5 – Apple slices. No peanut butter in most schools these days, but what’s the harm in a little cup of caramel?
6 – Bagel. Seriously, just about any carb is going to make your kids happy.
Huge shout out to all the cafeteria workers. I’m on a first-name basis with mine (JoAnn) because, before I started setting reminders, I would so often forget to order my kids’ lunch.
It takes a village!