Three days in and most parents are done with the creativity. For my kids, it isn’t about the cute animal shaped sandwiches or the specially cut veggies, it is about the food. They will eat it if they like it. My kids would eat turkey roll ups every day if they could, but I prefer a more well rounded menu that expands their palettes and isn’t breaded or covered in ketchup. Because, even my kids, won’t eat cold chicken nuggets, the school lunch is an opportunity to go beyond the tomato paste . . . But there isn’t enough time to pack lunches let alone be creative at 10pm at night!! Let’s be real, to be successful we need to take the thinking out of the lunch business. I do that with my lunch guide.
Check out the full guide here: MakingItUpAsTheyGrow_LunchGuide
For my sanity and the health of my children I came up with a four step guide to packing the perfect lunch. Step 4 takes the planning out of lunch. Choose 1 item from the first column, two from the second, a special treat, and something from the hydrate selection and you have yourself a lunch.
I’m also sharing the simple daily planner I created to stay one more step ahead. If you know what you plan to pack, your grocery list is already made for you. Double bonus!! Check out my daily planner: MakingItUpAsTheyGrow_DailyPlanner
We have a few favorite recipes that I also wanted to share. The first is our fancy chicken salad and the second, coming later this week (when I have a picture to share) is our favorite ABC pasta salad.
Fancy Chicken Salad
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Mandarin Oranges
- Olive Oil Mayonnaise
- Place white meat into a medium bowl. Using two forks, shred the white meat into small pieces.
- Chop cranberries and mandarin oranges into small pieces, add to bowl with chicken.
- Add your desired amount of mayonnaise. We use about a 1/2 cup.
What makes these sandwiches extra special is what you pack to hold them. Mini hamburger buns, pita pockets, or veggie chips keeps a main dish exciting. One week you pack the chicken salad in a pita, the following week you use mini buns. Kids are excited and you win the fresh meal idea challenge.
Our first Friday of the year, the lunch box got left behind. After I dropped him off at school, I ran to the grocery store to quickly produce a plan B. I immediately thought back to my four step guide. Never has one list been so successful!! I made it in and out of the store in no time and delivered an awesome lunch – one that got special mention when I picked him up at the end of the day. Kick boring to the curb without adding hours to your lunch packing routine. This is your lifesaver.