(Featured image is what I packed for snacks today)
Its the beginning of the school year so, like many other parents out there, I’m starting out with the best of intentions. Lunches and snacks so far have been healthy, varied and packed in cute containers. Talk to me in a month or two and see where we’re at…but for now! Its week two and we’re getting a bit of a routine going.
Some tips for packing kiddie lunches/snacks that I’ve found have helped:
Containers – Litterless lunches are the way to go and in many schools, compulsory. Choose containers that are easy to open with lids that are attached. Also, have your kiddie test out the containers beforehand to make sure they’re not too tight and easy to open.
Lunch Bags – To keep things simple and stress-free, we have a separate snack bag and a lunch bag. Both are designed to easily clean and keep things cool, have large easy closures/zippers and are not too large.
Labels – I’m a big fan of Mabels Labels, but this time around since we ran short on time before school began, I ran to our local big box and picked up the writeable versions which actually worked out very well. I labelled everything! It also helped to have kiddo help with the labelling since it really drilled into his head each of his own belongings and reinforced the spelling of his name too 🙂
Snacks – My kiddo gets two snacks, a morning and an afternoon. For the morning snack I label it #1 and have it on the top of his snack bag. I pack fruit and a protein (e.g. grapes, cheese and crackers). For the afternoon snack I label it #2 and have it underneath the morning snack. I pack fruit/veggies and a “fun” snack like mini oreos, animal crackers or a muffin.
Lunch – For variety we order a hot lunch through the school twice a week. They have plenty of fun and healthy options. For the other three days he loves turkey sandwiches or pepperoni with cheese and crackers or hot dog buns that we get at the Chinese bakery. He gets a yogurt drink or a chocolate milk and some fruit again.
Preparation – Mornings tend to be either super laid back or super hectic and since nothing is guaranteed (eg. baby decides to poop right before we head out the door) I try to have everything ready and in the fridge the night before. I also make it part of our routine to go through the snacks and lunch with kiddo before heading to school so he sees where everything is (straws, napkins, utensils).
Timing – The kids only get about 20 minutes for lunch – so its key to make sure all the food is easy to open and easy to eat. I usually unwrap stuff like cheese strings and put them in his own containers so he doesn’t have to fiddle with sticky wrappers for 10 minutes.
A large part of the whole lunch and snack thing at school for us is making sure kiddo is involved and in the know. If he knows where everything is and what he is getting I feel like it helps prep him for his day and gives him the confidence to know he can get his own food and its ready for him.
Anyways…like I said, talk to me in a month or so when I’m throwing a bag of chips and a juice box in his backpack!!!
Here are some inspiring lunch and snackie ideas below…