A month into the school year and I am out of the creative, get-them-to-eat, lunch ideas. To me lunches are like bedtime stories. Sometimes you just have to hide their favorite or you’ll lose your mind! Well, there are only so many turkey sandwiches I can make before the same dreadful conclusion. Getting them to eat is not the trick (just tonight my one year old requested broccoli with his dinner!). The challenge is providing a well rounded meal that ensures they are getting the nutrients they need to grow big and strong. It is also important (to my husband and I) to introduce them to new foods and grow their pallet.
I pack their lunches at night, because honestly, my mind does not work fast enough in the mornings. A morning packing equals toast . . . maybe a yogurt. But, nights are not uneventful times themselves. Dinner, bath time, brushing teeth, stories, chasing, arguing, and all the other tactics it takes before covers and lights out really limit the time I have to plan for the next day. My only survival option was to strategize. So I wrote it all down. Two weeks, two meal plans, two little boys getting healthy food. Bonus, it really helps getting my grocery list together.
Sloppy Joe’s are a huge winner with my kids and is one meal that is easy to make and freeze. I always laugh when I pack Graham graham crackers. I plan my Friday meals and snack around my Momma Day theme, but you could use some ideas below to fill in your Friday.
Pulling together ideas is the most difficult part. I searched Pinterest for a few new ideas and built a list that eliminated the need for me to think. I pick a protein, a veggie, and a yummy snack. It allows for variation. Thankfully, we don’t have any food allergies to contend with, but if you did, a list like this would be very helpful.
Once I had lunch mastered, I realized the same problem was happening every morning with breakfast. I added breakfast to the meal plans, but there are always mornings when someone doesn’t want to get up. Yes, most of the time it is me. Ten extra minutes of sleep are worth contending with the backseat breakfast club. Bonus, my oldest enjoys eating in the car and my youngest drinks his milk and has breakfast at daycare. Win, win. So because cereal and waffles are not car friendly I turned, once again, to Pinterest and created a board with easy to make and take breakfast options. Check it out here. Everything you love in breakfast in an easy to-go option.
Moms and dads have to pack a lot into every morning, evening, and night. Tackling the breakfast and lunch routine is a full time job. There are plenty of options out there, but these three are simple and adaptable to your preferences and dietary restrictions. A little thinking outside the box will help pack your lunch box. Bon Appetite to the little ones.