3 Steps for the PERFECT School Lunch

Eliminate stress and plan for delicious and nutritious

I’ve been making school lunches for over 10 years . . . times 4 kids. You do the math. Its a big number. Over the years I have struggled to make the perfect lunch or my idea of what perfect is, let’s all exhale and have a reality check on the perfection struggle.

My oldest son has the same lunch everyday. Every stinkin’ day! I was thinking “how boring! I’m gonna mix it up!” Wrong idea. When he came home he expressed his disappointment over his lunch. A lively discussion (both yelling) about what lunch should be.

Mom, I need the same lunch everyday. School is stressful enough and when I go to lunch I want to know EXACTLY what I’m eating. I need a constant in the chaos.

Step 1. Understand how your kid views his lunch time.

my daughter’s list

The other kids like variety BUT they also give me a list with parameters of what they want to eat. If my daughter wants a salad — I can go crazy with any option but I could not do that with another kid.

Step 2. Have your child make a list of healthy foods they want to eat.

her favorite lunch
“any kind of berries we have” I love her flexibility

With a wide variety of foods for lunch I have found that I need a variety of containers. When they were smaller I used bento boxes for a few years but never had great success. They were hard to wash, I needed so many then I didn’t have the size I needed! I was going crazy over making sure the tops were color coded with the bottoms . . . I know, I know. It shouldn’t matter but to me it does.

When I bought the lunch boxes that worked for us, that took a few years to figure out. Now I buy a rectangular lunch box with sturdy sides. (Honestly, I buy 2 extra because I have two kids who lose at least one lunch box each year!)

I buy two quality thermos containers for soups, spaghetti, and hot leftovers. I also have recycled deli containers that work great for cookies or crackers and some store-bought. The salad container in the picture is a life saver. I have three — one to replace one that was lost with the lunch box (grrrr), and two in case the girls want lunches on the same day.

Step 3. Have a selection of containers that won’t stress you out!

If you have tips for school lunches (or work lunches) please leave a comment or share this with your friends. I learn so much from the people who flow through my life.

Enjoy the new school year!

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