Packing school lunches doesn’t have to be painful. This method is so simple that your kids will be packing their own lunches in no time!
In high school, one of my chores was to pack six lunches – for myself, my dad, and my siblings. I packed nearly the same thing every day. I was fine with the food I packed, and I figured anybody who didn’t like it could pack their own lunch.
When my own children started school, my standards were higher. I wanted my kids to eat healthy, varied diets. School lunches also needed to be something that my children liked well enough to eat during their short lunch break. Several of my childhood favorites were out because I couldn’t use nuts in my kids’ lunches due to classmates with severe nut allergies.
Thankfully, this year I have found a solution that works for our family! I don’t stress out about packing lunches, because my kids pack their own lunches! Best of all, the kids bring home empty lunch boxes every afternoon.
Healthy School Lunches Your Kids Can Pack!
Here are some easy ways to pack healthy school lunches for your child. Actually, these ideas are so simple that your children will be able to pack their own school lunches!
Struggling to Get Kids to EAT Their Lunch
One of my biggest struggles with school lunches was that I would pack something healthy but my kids would bring home a full lunchbox. As I brainstormed ways to get them to eat, I realized that they eat more at home when their food is served on partitioned plates. I tried a few different Bento-style lunchboxes, but we kept having trouble with foods shifting compartments or even leaking.
Yumbox to the Rescue
Sometimes, especially in winter, my kids want to bring warm leftovers for lunch. We discovered that, if we let boiling water sit in Thermos Funtainers for a minute or so before filling them with hot food, the food is still very warm at lunch time.
Running Out of Ideas? Make a Healthy School Lunches Idea List!
We found the perfect lunchbox. Now, I needed a lunch-packing system.
I created this healthy school lunch ideas reference list with foods I know my kids like and will eat. This way, if the kids can’t think of what to pack, they look at the list.
I even turned it into a school lunch ideas printable so that you can use it for your own school lunches. You can click the image below to download the PDF to print off for your own kids to use.
The Yumbox has a section for each of these food groups. Each morning, my kids choose something from each column and add it to their lunchbox.
Everyone Makes Their Own Lunch
The beauty of this system is that it is simple enough for all of my school-aged children to pack their own lunches. Three-year-old Anna often needs help, but she can pack at least part of her lunch on her own.
Why you should also pack a lunch for younger at-home siblings
I bought a Yumbox for three-year-old Anna mainly because I knew she would feel left out otherwise, but it has proven incredibly helpful! Anna gets a packed lunch just like my school-aged kids in the morning.
Anna’s packed lunch earns me some free time in the middle of the day while she eats. I usually eat dinner leftovers, but Anna LOVES her Yumbox lunches!
The internet and your local bookstores are treasure troves if you are looking for cute lunch ideas! Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go is my kids’ favorite!