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School is almost back in session. In some areas it has already started, which means it is time to start preparing lunches for the kiddos again. I always like the beginning of the school year because our household falls back into routines and schedules, plus its football season!! I'll save that for another day though... Don't panic or stress over making school lunches, follow these 5 school lunch packing tips to help make the process easy and simple!
5 School Lunch Packing Tips!
Tip #1: Make or plan lunches the night before.
Making lunches the night before makes the morning routine so much easier on yourself! Who doesn't like that?! No need to be rushed and worried about getting out the door on time. All that will need to be done is the lunch put in a lunch bag with an ice pack and maybe fill up a water bottle.
Tip #2: Prep food ahead of time.
Pick a day where you can spend some time on prepping simple things to make packing lunches quick, easy and painless. For example: I do my prep work on Sunday mornings. This is when I cut carrots, celery and other vegetables, slice or cube chunk cheese, cut up melons, make a batch of Banana bread muffins, make ahead some homemade uncrustables for the freezer, or wash fruit such as grapes.
Tip #3: Use leftovers.
Using leftovers is a great way to be sure the food is not going to be wasted. You can be creative with the leftovers and make it into something new or just serve it as leftovers. I like to serve the leftover Crock Pot Chicken in a pita or on a salad. It is also amazing what my kids will eat cold. They will eat cold chicken nuggets, cold taco salads, cold pizza, cold cooked vegetables just to name a few. Don't be afraid to send the leftovers!
Tip #4: Pack a variety of food.
Believe it or not, kids like to have a variety of food rather than just a sandwich and chips. My kids like those too, but they really like the excitement of opening their lunch and seeing what they got that day! I always make sure the lunch has a: fruit, vegetable, protein, and a grain. So for example: my kids' all time favorite lunch is still muffins. They would eat muffins every day if I let them. So to go with the muffin (which is the grain) I would add: apple slices, bell pepper sticks, and cubed cheese. Change it up each day. Pack them a breakfast lunch or brunch for lunch as my kids call it, or homemade lunchables (crackers, cheese, & deli meat). If you get in a rut you can check out all these school lunch ideas.
Tip #5: Make it fun!
Kids are very visual, try to keep the lunch colorful! Use cookie cutters to cut the food into fun shapes. Also, add little notes, jokes or riddles in their lunch. These little things can create a lot of excitement with the kiddos.
There you have it! 5 school lunch packing tips to make your life easier!