Every morning that I have to pack lunches for my kids, there is always a moment where I throw my head back & let out an ugh. Sometimes it is more audible than others, but I wonder everyday if they are going to get bored with what they are eating. Will they be excited when they open their lunch box & want to dig in right away or will they have an ugh moment themselves?
I think all of us lunch packers feel that way. Are we making them a lunch that is healthy & filling, while still giving them something yummy? This conumdrum has me dragging my feet into the kitchen most days. Another day, another lunch.
One thing that has really helped, is to have a template or checklist that basically outlines what they need, taking the guess-work out of what to feed them…
I do this in two ways:
#1. I include a grain (usually bread or pasta), a protein (meat, yogurt, cheese) [vegan/plant-based if available], something sweet (fruit, cookies, yogurt), & lastly a fruit or vegetable (fresh if possible)
#2. I ask myself if they have something of substance (usually the grain & protein), something fun or sweet (cookies, chips, piece of candy, flavored yogurt), & 1-2 fruits or vegetables.
I’m sure you can see that some of these areas cross over each other; but it gives me a quick checklist I can go through in the mornings, or the night before, to make sure I am satisfying all the major areas. This allows me the flexibility to change things up, without having to reinvent the wheel. So now that I have started packing lunches for my husband too, that sense of good grief here we go is a little less overwhelming.
Here are a few examples from recent lunches:
Substance (grain/protien): whole wheat sandwich with almond butter & grape jam
Fun/Sweet: chips & applesauce
Fruit/Vegetable: fresh cut apples
Substance (grain/protein): Lunch meat & goat cheese
Fun/Sweet: homemade trail mix (dried raisins, cranberries, & pineapple, marshmellows, dark chocolate chips)
Fruit/Vegetable: fresh strawberries
Graphic from top of page
Substance (grain/protein): Allergen & Gluten-Free sandwich with almond butter & honey
Fruit/Vegetable: trail mix
I would love to hear your lunch dilemmas or what you are packing for lunch. Click on your social media of choice from below & join in the conversation.