February 17, 2010

A Simpler Life In 2010 . . .

I used to be the kind of mom who lovingly got up an extra 15 to 20 minutes early to pack delicious, nutritious lunches for my children. But I'm not that mom anymore. Now I am sleep deprived from getting up with an infant at night. And now I realize that the morning rush is crazy enough without lunch packing. And now I've learned that my kids are actually more likely to eat their lunches if they pack them themselves. So, here's how I made my {and our} life simpler:
I made packing lunches part of the kids' getting ready for bed routine.  They do it, too, because if they don't,  lunch is just a peanut butter sandwich.  Gag.
I created a formula for packing lunches.  It's so easy even my little First Grader RedDog  can do it.  It goes like this:
1. Get out your lunchbox, which you dutifully put in the cupboard when you came home from school.
2. Open up the lunch drawer {which also happens to be the tupperware drawer}.
3. Get a drink, a snack, a cookie, an applesauce or some chips.
4.  Go to the fridge and get some carrots or cucumbers or cherry tomatoes or apples or oranges or grapes or a string cheese or a yogurt.
5. Make yourself a sandwich or get your thermos ready for mom to fill with leftovers in the morhning.
6. Have mom or dad check to see that you have a fruit, a veggie, a drink, a sandwich, a dairy item and some good ol' fashioned processed junk in your lunch.  If it passes inspection, close it up and put it in the fridge.

The new way of lunch packing has been a great tidechanger in our house.  I don't get complaints about yucky lunches anymore.  If the kids don't finish their lunch at school, they have it for their after school snack.  We're not rushing last minute to throw lunches together in the morning.  Butterflies and birds are flying around our kitchen and all is at peace and harmony.  Okay, maybe no butterflies, but at least the kids and I don't dread lunches anymore.

What's your school lunch trick?

Edited to add:  I used to let my kids buy the school lunch a few times a week.  Then I went to lunch with them one day and smelled it, watched kids throwing over 75% of it in the trash, saw many kids opting for the yogurt and a bagel option, and realized we could do better.
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Kasey Hunt said...

Great system. I may start doing that with Gibson. He has been eating the school lunch. I witnessed what a school lunch consisted of, and he wasted a lot of it b/c he didn't like it. It probably would save us money if we were to do it this way.
Thanks for the idea.

TracyS. said...

Love it!

Jessie said...

Thanks you for the great brown bagging it ideas. You always have such an organized routine for everything.

My problem w/lunches is that my 1st grader doesn't like any healthy food. It is so terribly frustrating!!! I was excited when he started eating p.b. sandwiches...but only a half. And craisons for a fruit. I would be doing back flips if he would eat a veggie. Any tricks up your sleeve for this dilemma?

Sue said...

My method? Stick $2.00 in Lily's backpack. Done.

Although, if I'm honest with myself I have to agree with Kasey that much of the school lunch likely gets wasted. I think I'll talk to Lily about trying to adopt your system.

LJB said...

My kids pack their lunches at night too! it makes life so much easier and simpler in the morning. I am not quite as organized though, I do not have a "special" drawer with everything in it. They have to search the pantry!
One fun thing I do is to put "love" notes in their lunch boxes after they have packed them.
They love opening up their lunchboxes and finding a little note saying, "I love you", or "Smile", "Have a great day!", or even "Do good on your test!" I don't put notes in everyday, just once in a while! They love it!

The Queen Vee said...

Simpler life....hmmm....don't think it will ever happen for me.

Tobi said...

My lunch routine is similar to Sue's. I make sure my kids lunch account has money on it and that it's. Not a big lunch packing person.

Dion Seneca said...

My kids buy their lunch at school. I have them do this for 2 reasons: 1) I hate to pack lunches...or even supervise their packing. 2) It exposes them to many different kinds of foods. Yes, sometimes it is wasted. But other times they taste it and actually like it. Sometimes it takes several different tastings before they decide they like it. I have noticed that my kids are much less picky after they have been eating school lunch for a few years. They appreciate my food so much more, and they are more willing to try new foods in different situations. Plus, it only costs $1.50 per day. I don't think I could make them lunch for less than that!

Apis Melliflora said...

I'm packing lunch for my one school-aged kid almost every day. Have to, the school doesn't provide. But I'm planning to copy your system sometime in the not so far away future.

Tracie said...

I will get there some day! I pack Easton's but he's enjoying the option of hot lunch so I let him pick the days he wants what's on the menu. Except this week when things have just been too crazy at night and in the morning so he's had three days of unfavorites. Good for him to try it and appreciate home stuffs. I first started letting him do school lunch because he wanted to try doing what his friends did. So funny that even I remember the social experience of doing hot lunch! Such a loaded topic and I like your ideas! Are there any bedtime/prep for next day routine simplifications coming too??? Love Edward's work and excited for Jacob's contributions!!! Yeah for you!!!