Back to school! Its that time of year that makes moms happy and sad; happy to start new routines and sad about the energy and organization it can take to get your family going. Throughout the month of August we are featuring organized moms who will help get you started back to school with the toughest tasks.
Moms are challenged by making lunch nutritious, easy to make, and enjoyable for their kids. Here are some solutions for you.
I dread making those lunches every morning as much as my boys dread returning to school. Alternating PB&J and salami sandwiches weekly gets monotonous quickly—for the mom making the lunch and for the kids eating it! Last year, I surfed the web and collected some great new ideas to make lunches a little more exciting. Following are some hits with my kids:
Instead of a sandwich, I had the deli counter cut lunch meat in one thick slice, which I then cubed and packed with cubed cheese, toothpicks, and crackers. (Toothpicks are huge with my kids—maybe because I have three boys—they love when I condone the stabbing of anything) Wraps are another hit—the same ingredients as a boring sandwich, but wrapped in a tortilla—I spread cream cheese or Laughing Cow Swiss, then the lunchmeat, shredded cheese and “salad” (my boys’ term for lettuce, spinach, etc). I am sure the “salad” gets brushed off immediately at school, but I try!
Also, varying the bread on a basic sandwich was a hit. We used thin bagels, English muffins, and even corn muffins.
Other main dishes include hummus with pita chips and carrots, cold pizza, cold pepperoni rolls, and leftover meatballs (again with toothpicks). If you have a thermos, baked potatoes, soup, or any pasta can be a great change on a cooler day.
Some extras that were a hit last year: beef jerky, peanut butter crackers, chips and dip, veggies and ranch, pretzels with the new individual cream cheese packets, yogurt with granola, trail mix, popcorn, and zucchini chocolate chip muffins (I have a great recipe for these—my kids have yet to discover there is a vegetable in there!)
Of course, I always add a fruit and small treat to brighten their day.
Shawna McGrath is a stay at home mom of three boys, part time Math and English tutor, and enjoys believing her kids eat all the food in their lunch, not just the cookies.
Pictured above is the all new Rubbermaid lunch kit named LunchBlox. As a mom and Gigi (grandmother), I love the gift of LuncBlox from Rubbermaid! As an organizer, lots of rectangular containers in bright colors make a difference. Little separate compartments for different items and an ice block to keep it all cold make it easy to keep lunch together and make it the night before. It’s also BPA free and dish washer safe. All of Shawna’s suggestions will fit in the new LunchBlox. Making lunch will be so much more fun, nutritious and enjoyable now! What lunch will you pack in your LunchBlox?
Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap is a fan of all sorts of containers!