School Lunch Survival Plan


back to school

Survival Mode.  Raise your hand high in the air and wave your freak flag if you are in Back to School Survival Mode.  I’d join you but I’m too damned tired.  I get it.  The back to school routine is rough.  One minute we’re posting pics of our beach vacays and the next minute were signing all.the.papers, packing backpacks, planning after school activities, and (my personal LEAST favorite) making lunch.  I’ve shared many times my disdain for this task, but this convo from the car on Tuesday night pretty much sums up my feelings:

Me to Honey, while talking about the first day of school: Oh man, I have to make lunch again tomorrow too.

Lovey, from the backseat: THAT’S annoying.

Making lunch is annoying.  Like nails on the chalkboard annoying.  I’d rather fold laundry, scrape gum off the floor, or vacuum under the couch cushions (shudder) than make lunch.  But HUZZAH! I may have found a new tool to get us through.

I made a menu of all the lunch and snack choices that Lovey and Kitten eat and I laminated it.  Every day after school Lovey can pick her choices for her lunch the next day off the menu by herself so that when the time to make lunch comes around all I have to do is read the menu.  Otherwise I’m forced to have a one-sided conversation with her about what she wants while she looks at me blankly and shrugs.  This happens every night.  Kitten gets her very own snack menu too, but she can’t read so I’m not sure how much help that’s gonna be, other than helping her feel included.

lunch box

Full disclosure:  This is not my idea.  This idea is all over Pinterest.  Honey sent me a link on Facebook with a menu a few weeks ago.  I searched and searched for it on his page and mine and can’t find it anywhere.

I’ve heard other parents have a dedicated caddy in the fridge filled with snacks and lunch choices.  Great idea in theory, but I’m not organized enough for that.  Maybe someday.

I took the liberty of sharing these lists with you mommies.  Click on the link and you should get a word doc that you can edit with your young whippersnappers favorite lunch choices, print out, and laminate.  Perhaps it will help you get out of the house on time in the AM without feeling like you’ve been shot out of a cannon.

Lunch Menu

Snack Menu

Any other tips to make the lunch packing drudgery a bit easier are greatly appreciated.

5 comments on “School Lunch Survival Plan”

  1. I don’t ask what my kid wants for lunch and when i do it’s an A or B choice. That helps. Now that she’s in 2nd grade she will do her own lunch as much as possible. We have 4-5 lunches we rotate through with variation. I do as much as possible ahead so i’m doing mostly assembling. Sometimes i cook a boatloadxof past on sunday and divide it into 5 containers for the week with meat or peas, etc. and i always put the lunchbox together the night before.

  2. Haven’t tried this yet for lunch but we’ve done it a couple Sunday nights for the entire week’s breakfasts. I get SO tired of saying repeatedly in the morning, to their tired, TV zoned, blank faces, “What do you want for breakfast?” I don’t give them choices for lunch because I think they would choose the same thing every day!

  3. I was JUST thinking of doing a menu for my daughter to pick her lunch and snacks from. The blank stares and “I don’t knows” are driving me crazy. She loves playing “waitress” so I think this will work with her! Thanks!

  4. I think we are lucky that the same meal, repeatedly, suits them for lunch. Still a drag, but not a battle. I love this idea, perhaps it will help us branch out.

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