January 2014

Organize Your School Lunch Routine

by Mel on January 31, 2014

This year, make the lunch packing routine run smoother in the mornings and get your kids out the door with a healthy lunch option.  Whether your kids pack a school lunch or eat at school, there are a few organizing tips to help make lunch planning a bit easier.


School Lunches:


1. Call or go online to find out the types of meals, how much they cost, and how to pay for them.


2. Get a copy of the school menu and make a habit of checking it least weekly or every night. That way if there is meal that your kid doesn’t like, you can be prepared to pack a lunch.


3. Set up routine payments to the school. Set up a weekly, biweekly or monthly reminder on your calendar to write a check for your kid to take to school or to go online to make a payment.


4. If paying by cash on a daily basis, establish a routine of making sure your kids get their lunch money. Store the cash in a cute wallet or other creative container, establish a routine of putting the wallet or container in the same place in your kid’s backpack every time.


Packed Lunches:


1. Try planning one week at a time to keep things simple and lessen the chance of food spoiling or not getting eaten.  Decide on what meals you want to have for the week, create a grocery list and go shopping.


2. Shop once or twice a week and put on your calendar the day/days you will shop. Creating a routine and staying consistent is good because when you know exactly what day you’ll do your shopping, it’s more likely you will actually do it and not cancel or bump it to another day.


3. Make lunches the night before if you can to avoid the morning rush.


4. Get your kids involved! Let them have a say on what they want to eat for lunch.


5. Set up a lunch making station. No matter if you or your kids are making the lunches, you want to make it as easy as possible. Try having one area in your kitchen that has all lunch containers, drink bottles, utensils, lunch boxes and baggies in one location. You could even dedicate one bin in the refrigerator and pantry specifically for lunch items and snacks.


6. Pick meals and snacks that are easy to prepare. Use whole wheat tortillas for wraps, whole wheat bread for sandwiches, low fat cheeses, fruit slices, sliced veggies, low fat milk, low sugar drinks, nuts and dried fruit.


7. Pack individual snack-sized items to save you time.  Things like fruit bowls, pudding cups, chips, crackers, cheese sticks, fruit chews, fruit roll ups, yogurt cups, etc. make it a lot easier to pack a lunch and can save you time and frustration.


Want more tips on how to get your school lunch routine organized? Check out our article on packing your kids a more nutritious lunch at http://creativebioscience.com/blog/packing-your-kids-a-more-nutritious-lunch/ .  And read our simple three step process for more quick and healthy lunch packing tips at http://creativebioscience.com/blog/healthy-school-lunches-as-easy-as-1-2-3/ .


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