Back To School, Back To Reality - School Lunch Boxes
Honestly, making school lunches shouldn't be a thing, really, but it is. It can be tricky knowing what to pack, what's healthy and what will actually be eaten & which poor item will return home sloppy & slimy. Below, I've sought to share my top tips for how I make this 5 day a week task healthy and efficient.
I'm constantly keeping note of the things Lwa eats & enjoys - both healthy foods & treats. So when the time comes for making his lunch, I'm not left scratching my head. Also, this means he's not trying new things that he doesn't typically eat at home. For me, his school lunch is just an extension of how he already eats at home. Keeping this in mind keeps things simple and stress free.
So what have your kids been eating during lunch over the summer holidays? Most likely, that is what you'll pop in their lunch boxes. I mean, unless you closed shop over the holidays and it was a 'anything goes' vibe ;)
When making your kids lunches, think practically about what will they eat for the first break (morning tea) - universally this is around 10ish in the morning. At this point, they may not be that hungry and just need a quick snack to keep them going.
This break is also much smaller than the second one. So typically I pack a mini cupcake, rice cake, plain corn chips, cheese & crackers, fruit or vegetable. I also ensure Lwa knows what I've selected for morning tea break so he can eat accordingly.
My beautiful boy does not eat sandwiches ya'll! I've tried with no success, so for me this is the part that gets tiring and monotoneous. If your kid loves sammies, bless your socks, the world is your oyster. You don't even need me to make any suggestions.
If however you have a fussy eater like mine, then stocking up on what they would normally eat at home will be your saving grace. I have a freezer brimming with:
mini sausage rolls
noodles (normally in winter only)
When I am in my organized and can be bothered mode, I make these myself but honestly I'm just being extra, the ones at the supermarket are just as good and potentially more convenient. So just ensure you have good freezer storage and you're sorted. I alternate these options to keep it interesting e.g. Monday is croissant day, Tuesday is mini sausage roll day etc.
In the morning, I'll throw whatever the frozen choice is in the oven and it's done with enough time to pack and send him off. You can certainly prepare everything the night before as well. Doing it in the morning works better for our morning routine.
Add a little something extra just in case. Some days kids get really hungry and need just that little extra something to tie them over. Here are our examples
sweet potato chips
And then for us, Friday is "Surprise Friday!". So Lwa may score a chocolate or $2 to use at the school canteen, or sometimes I pre-order his lunch from the canteen. Doing Fridays this way just keeps things interesting for him.
Our first day lunch for tomorrow consists of:
Morning tea - watermelon and cheese & crackers
Lunch time - mini croissant with sliced kabana and carrots
Treat - sultanas & cranberries as well as fruity gummies
Drink - our school takes exclusively water, which makes this mama very happy
I anticipate that tomorrow will be a big first day back, with that in mind, I've packed popcorn as his 'pick me up'. I hear you say this lunch is too little but honestly, he will come home with somethings uneaten - so no need to waste food by packing too much.
There you have it! Happy first day back mama!