Every year, it seems as if school lunches are on the up and up. If you have two, three or even four or more kids, these paid lunches can add up so fast! Just like eating out at work, why throw all this money away, when you can do something about it.
If you don't think you have time to pack your child's lunch, it's time to think again! Packing a lunch can be done within a few minutes, if done right.
Offer a Variety
Don't stick with the same ole' peanut butter and jelly every day. If you do, your child is going to get sick of it pretty fast. Instead, try to offer a variety. While you don't have to have something different every single day, try to switch it up throughout the week.
For example, start with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, followed by a ham sandwich, etc. If you have leftover pizza, be sure to throw a pizza in to spice things up. The same can be said about the snacks, vegetables, pudding and fruits.
Your child doesn't want to open up their lunch and see a bunch of blah colors. Instead of sticking to the same old boring sandwich, try to liven up the lunch bag with colors. By adding vegetables and fruits, this is a fantastic way to add color and a lot of nutrition to your child's life.
When packing a lunch, you just have to remember that some fruits and vegetables won't last long in a locker. Try to stick with apples, bananas, tomatoes and berries.
Have Fun With It
This trick tends to work for children who are still in elementary. With their sandwiches, fruit and vegetables,
consider cutting it up into fun shapes and objects. For example, if it's Halloween, consider grabbing a cookie cutter and create a sandwich that looks like a pumpkin. This is a great way to motivate your child to look through most of the food in their bag.
Make it Easy
No child wants to eat something that is messy, like last night's lasagna. Kids, no matter what their age, are going to like easy-to-eat foods. Like what I've mentioned above, try to stick to the finger foods, such as sandwiches, fruits, vegetables and chips. If you're going to pack something, like a pizza, try to cut it up ahead of time, if you have the time.
Chances are you're going to talk with your child before they head out the door. If you do, be sure to take advantage of this. Ask your child what they want in their lunch, but instead of simply asking, give them options. So instead of saying, "Hey, what kind of fruit do you want?" you could say, "Do you want an
apple or banana?" Children love choices, and if you give them viable options, it should be easier to get an answer out of them.
Don't Forget the Treat
So many times, the parents often forget the treat inside of the bag. Yes, while it's great to focus on the great food, you don't want to forget about a sweet treat. Today, there are so many great options that you can choose as a sweet snack. This can include homemade muffins, Rice Krispie treats or a healthy chocolate granola bar.
Now that you know how to spice up your child's lunch, here are some tips to make packing a lot easier:
- Throw chips, cookies and anything else that can last in a pantry inside of a baggie. Store this inside of the pantry so that you can just pick them up and throw them in the bag.
- Set aside one day a week to whip up something fun, such as bread, muffins or cookies.
- Take the meat from last night's dinner and consider using it on sandwiches.
- Lastly, have motivation! Once you get into the habit of doing this, it will become a habit to you. Not only will your child thank you for it, you can save a lot of money by allowing your child to skip the hot lunch line.
Stephanie is from howmuchisit.org. Here, you can find thousands of cost helping guides. Whether you want to know something that is baby or health related, be sure to keep this resource in mind that next time you need to know the cost of something.
Cape Cod Moms