When I speak with other parents, one of the common topics of conversation is usually food. What are our kids’ favourite foods? How do you get your kid to eat their school lunches? Because these seem to be frequent questions, I’ve decided to put together a few school lunches that will make your life easier.
It seems school lunches are the bane of many parents’ existence. I have some ideas on how to make things less nerve-wracking.
School Lunch Tips
- Get your kids involved in packing their lunches! I usually set out a variety of lunch items (fruit, veggies, etc) and Little One picks what she wants in her lunch (from the items offered to her). This way, she cannot say that she didn’t want a certain food item, because she was the one who picked it. Also, if she is choosing from what is offered, there is no risk of her choosing junk.
- Create a menu together. Gather your kids’ favourite recipes and meals and make a binder together. If you want, you can even hop on Pinterest together and “pin” some fun kids’ school lunches ideas. If kids are involved in making their lunches, they are more likely to want to eat their creations.
- Leftovers are your best friend. If your kid absolutely loves shepherd’s pie or lasagna, send them to school with them for lunch! Little One loves leftovers. In fact, she isn’t much of a sandwich kid, so leftovers really make my life easier!
- Practice “half your plate” – Set out a variety of fruits and vegetables and make sure your kids fill their lunchboxes with lots of fruits and veggies, all colours of the rainbow! IF you are giving your child a treat, a little treat is sufficient. After all, a treat is just that…a treat! It’s something you don’t get every day.
- Use a bento style lunchbox, so all your child’s food is presented in front of him/her. Some of Little One’s friends got bento boxes like hers last year because their parents saw her lunches on social. One mom told me that her child was not eating all her lunch because she had so many containers to open and sometimes didn’t even realize she had certain items because she did not notice them. Now that she uses a bento, she sees all of her food and knows what’s in her lunchbox.
10 school lunches that will make your life easier
If you have a child like mine, who isn’t much of a sandwich lover, leftovers of their favourite meals are great!
Since healthy litterless lunches are my passion, I send Little One to school with as little packaging as possible. I also send her to school with reusable cloth napkins to eliminate paper waste.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that my lunchtime favourites are:
- Bentology: I love the bento box style lunchboxes. They are really convenient and they help me make sure Little One’s packed a balanced meal. She puts her fruits in one container, veggies in another container, etc.
BENTOLOGY IS DESIGNED TO HELP YOU pack nutritious bento box lunches for school, work, travel, play or take out. Inspired by single-portion Bento containers common in Japan, Bentology provides lunchboxes, lunchbags, and containers for home-packed meals that encourage healthy eating and portion control. To keep you inspired, we provide creative lunch ideas and easy to make lunch recipes. Our bento boxes, lunch boxes, ice packs and bento accessories contain NO phthalates, BPA, PVC or lead.
- Funkins: I am obsessed with these reusable cloth napkins. I started using them for Little One when she started Junior Kindergarten. She’s in grade 4 this year, and we’re still using the same napkins!
Funkins are bright, reusable and eco-friendly cloth napkins made especially for kids. Funkins are ideal for lunch boxes and perfect for snack time when you’re at home or on the go.
- Lunchbox Love Notes: I leave a special note in Little One’s lunch each day. Just a little something to let her know I am thinking of her. Some days it’s a few words of encouragement and sometimes it’s a thank you for helping out. She enjoys the cool facts and jokes on the flip side of the cards.
The Original Lunchbox Love® notes for kids and adults is a unique way of connecting with your child and loved ones each and every day. Put a note in a lunch box, slide one into Dad’s wallet, drop one in the fridge, and anywhere else you can imagine. All of the cards have positive, heartfelt messages on the front and fun facts, jokes, or riddles that kids & adults love. It’s an easy way of connecting with those around you every day with ease. Guarantee a smile every day with Lunchbox Love for Kids, Teens & Tweens, Loved Ones & more from Say Please.
I want to make life a little bit easier for one Life on Manitoulin reader. Many parents keep telling me how lunch-making is a pain and how much they loathe school lunches. I actually love school lunches — mainly because Little One is now 8 years old, and old enough to be making her own lunches! Seriously, those lunches featured above are her doing!
I have partnered with my lunchtime favourites to offer one lucky reader a fabulous school lunches prize pack!
The prize pack includes:
- 1 bento lunchbox kit from Bentology.
- 1 Placemat/double ply and a set of 3 single ply napkins from Funkins.
- 4 packs of Lunchbox Love notes.
The giveaway is open to residents of Canada (excluding the province of Quebec) and the U.S., and ends September 30, 2017. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.
Disclosure – This post is in partnership with the above brands. All thoughts and opinions on this blog are honest and my own.
Carole Dube says
I don’t mind making lunch! If you have everything you need it doesn’t take that long.
Jennifer P. says
I wouldn’t say I dread or love making school lunches – I would say I don’t mind making them. One of my daughters started making her own lunch last year in grade 4, and I would say that up until then I dreaded making them. I work some nights and have sports on other nights; I had a baby and toddler; and my husband travels a lot for work, so I was often tired at night but even more tired in the mornings so I would make them grumpily before I went to bed. Then we offered her the opportunity to make her own lunches and she jumped on it. We provide the food options, and she makes her own selections from the choices available, puts it together i.e. cuts the veggies, makes the sandwiches etc. then we approve it before she zips it up and puts in the fridge for the next day. It’s great! This year I have another daughter in kindergarten, but somehow it just seems easier to make her lunch than it was making her sister’s (I am less tired now that the baby is older though…). It seems easy to do, and so far I don’t mind.
Linda Svarovsky says
I love making them as it connects me to my kids.
Dana Miller says
I dread making school lunches because I worry I am not providing enough, or variety, or will have containers to send. I wish I was more creative and had some of these cool tools! The Bento lunchbox kit would be fantastic and I love the cards!
I don’t mind!
I dread it. so much easier to make lunch for home meals.
I don’t mind because the kids mostly make theirs
Krista M says
I dread it! I am constantly trying to find new ideas to send but my son has special needs & is very limited in what he will eat so I find lunches challenging.
I don’t mind making/packing lunches; it’s trying to find a variety of healthy options that my LO will actually eat that is frustrating.
I actually don’t mind making lunches. I do feel stuck in a rut sometimes.
Betty S says
I was always frustrated making school lunches, both my children ate different things which made it difficult
Alison Braidwood says
I love them when I’m planning them on Pinterest, but dread them when I’ve still got to make them at midnight. Procrastination lives :0
I love all the leftovers in the lunches! My daughter loves leftovers.
Jessica Gilbert says
I have a love/hate relationship with making lunches. I have a lot of good ideas, but my kids just want to eat the same thing every day!
Tara Betterley says
I hate/dread making lunches everyday. I am always wondering if I gave them enough to eat or did I send something I wasn’t supposed to.
Jessica Gipson says
I love making school lunches. That’s when my creative side kick in and my daughter LOVES them.
Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard says
I used to dread it because my kids are picky
michelle matta says
mostly dread, but honestly love because its a great motvation to get organized and eat organized myself too. everyone ends up benefitting, even the grocery bill.
I don’t mind making school lunches. I just worry that my DD won’t eat at school. Next year, my twins will be starting school… I’m kinda dreading having to make 5 lunches every night (3 kids, hubby and I). It takes long enough to make 3!
My school aged kids are both old enough to make their own lunches. Yay! But I am dreading when I have to start making lunches again as the littles get older.
My husband helps out with lunches in the morning. But we are also pack for morning snack and afternoon snack. I like to change it up for the kids and always looking for new ideas. Love the idea of sending notes with new facts along with a little love note with my daughter.
I don’t like it, cause it takes time! But I love the reactions!
I love when they love a creative lunch I take time to pack, but some mornings I loathe it because we just don’t have time.
Tammy Dalley says
I dread it because my boys are very picky eaters, and I never know what to pack for their lunch!
Florence Cochrane says
Don’t like making lunches because of the picky eaters.
I enjoy making school lunches and creating something that my son will enjoy.
Treen Goodwin says
I dread making lunches , because i have to make the kids plus hubbies , and everyone likes or wants something different ughhhhh !
Wanda Tracey says
These lunchkits are perfect because you can pack a balanced lunch and see whats in the containers.Mydaughter would love one! Thanks for the chance. 🙂
Erika Letson says
I used to dread it, but that’s because I wasn’t prepared well enough! I invested in some new lunch gear and I’m growing to love it now!
I kinda dread making lunches because I dont feel like Im very creative.. it gets boring with the same ol same ol ideas and Items.
Jenny Major says
I have to admit lunches are not one thing I enjoy doing
Marlene J says
I don’t mind making lunches for the family, it kinda fun – always put a little surprise or saying in the box/bag
Jill B says
With my son, lunches were easy, sandwich, fruit, veggies, treat. My daughter has multiple food allergies so its a lot harder now thas shes in kindergarten. Its only been a week, lol, but its a bit of a learning curve. We found bento style lunches to be best for her.
Judy Cowan says
Have to admit lunches are not one thing I enjoy doing, I can never figure out what to make and get stuck in the same lunch routine too often.
With four boys I dread making lunches. We have an assembly line process but with so many different likes it makes it difficult at times.
I could use some help some days but for the most part I like making my kids their lunches! My daughter has been asking for a bento box tho so this giveaway is ideal – fingers crossed 🙂
Right now, I love making them but ask me again in a couple of weeks…LOL. It makes me happy to know that their bellies are going to be full during a long day of learning and being active.
Lee-Ann S says
I’m actually enjoying school lunches because we do a lot of the prep on the weekend, Miss R helps make and pack. On top of that everything is being consumed!
Melissa Finn says
I love making lunches! Sometimes my kids and I make them together and sometimes I make them when they are fast asleep. I love packing a little treat andi always send a little note. Makes it special for them
I like making school lunches. I get to be creative in what I make. I always try to make something different for variety.
I’m so excited to start using my bento box I purchased today for my son. He’s only 18 months old and packing his lunch is my husband’s job, so this will be a team effort and really help us out when we pack his lunch to ensure he’s gettting a balanced meal. Thank you for the ideas!
My daughter loves being able to see all her food choices during lunch.
it can be fun but also mind-bending! I have trouble thinking of foods that are going to be enjoyed and that are healthy
I love putting together our little one’s lunch box, and she loves to be surprised at school when she opens it up! Thank you for sharing all of these lunch ideas – I just wish my kid would eat as well as yours! Wow! 🙂
kristen visser says
I actually LOVE making school lunches. I make my daughters and my husbands lunch for work every night after our kids go to bed. it has become part of my routine
I don’t mind packing lunches, but it’s nice to get some inspiration and ideas on what to put in there – so thanks for that!
ivy pluchinsky says
I used to dread it, but now she helps me with making the lunches so its not so bad anymore
I dread it, it’s hard to keep up with.
Stephanie LaPlante says
I love making lunches but dread figuring out what to make. My family is very picky.
michelle tremblett says
I cant stand making lunches lol. It is my most dreaded task. To me honest I’m not sure why, it only takes a few minutes and the kids are pretty easy going but it just makes me crazy, maybe because I always feel like its the same things over and over, the pressure! lol
lori butler says
i dread them as they get so bored with the same things
Heather Pennie says
My tip is to make kids part of the shopping process too (as painful as that can be). We have tried some very interesting fruits and veggies because of that – they are getting to choose which new things to try.
I found this post via IG and I love it! I’m going to share it in my Kindergarten class newsletter; lots of great info for families!
Ohh! Thanks SO much, Jo! I appreciated you sharing it in your Kindergarten class newsletter! Hopefully the little tips prove useful to parents!
Those lunches all look delicious!! I’d be happy for LO to make my lunch!
I am sure she would be happy to make your lunches!
I love getting the kids involved in making their lunch!! They always way all their lunch when the do.
Love it! My kid eats all her lunch when she makes it too! So satisfying to see an empty lunchbox at the end of the day!