I am going to put on my teacher 👩🏻🏫 hat alongside my mom hat for a moment and share some advice about packing lunches for back-to-school. 🏫 I know that we still have several weeks 🗓 and there are a lot of unknowns 🤷🏻♀️when it comes to the upcoming school year but it is always nice to be prepared.
As both a Kindergarten teacher 👩🏻🏫 and a mom of three 👦🏼👧🏼👧🏼 (one of which just finished his first year of school), I have some tips to share with you about preparing your child for lunch 🥗 at school.
1. Start practicing now! There are many skills that your child will be encouraged to complete on his/her own. During lunch🍴& snack times, it is important that your child is able to open & close containers independently. Head out now, purchase 🛒🛍 your child a new lunch box and lunch bag and then have packed lunches at home. I did just that with Benjamin last year and it helped me to learn what was going to work and what wasn’t. It also allowed me to trouble shoot with him and teach him how to use certain things so that his teacher and ECE didn’t have to help him with it when he started school. Most kids on my kindergarten class have @yumboxlunch or @bentgo or @littlelunchboxco containers. We purchased @lunchbots stainless steel containers and they have been fantastic. They were easy for him to use and as you can see, they hold a lot! We LOVE them.💗
2. Purchase a lunch bag and backpack that are big enough to hold all the items. There a lots of really cute little backpacks 🎒 and lunch bags but kids go to and from school with a lot in their bag. A bigger bag will make independent packing much easier. Have your child practice packing, unpacking, zipping, and unzipping his or her backpack.
3.We purchased a new water bottle 💦 to send with our Benjamin. A hydrated brain 🧠 learns better!
4. Label EVERYTHING! I cannot emphasize this enough! Put labels on the lunch bag, the lunch containers, the water bottle, the snack bag, etc. If you want it to come home, label it!
5. Invest in reusable snack bags. We often use ours on the side for muffins, dry snacks like pretzels 🥨 or goldfish, and much more.
6. Consider a thermos. If your child likes hot 🔥 lunches, look into a thermos thermos brand or a container like omielife with a thermos built in.
7. Prepare what you can ahead of time. I don’t always prep ahead of time but it definitely helps when I do. I try to cut up 🔪carrots 🥕 and celery, prewash 💧 all the fruit, and plan 📝 lunches for the week or a couple of days in advance. I also try to make lunches the night 🌙 before to save time in the morning. Some people prefer mornings and you need to do what works best for you and your schedule. I (sometimes) try to include Benjamin in the decision making and lunch packing process when it comes to what to pack because when he is involved, he is more likely to eat it (in our experience). Also make sure you check into any foods that are restricted 🚫 at your child’s school. Some schools do not allow nuts or peanuts, fish, shellfish, etc. Some even restrict imitation nut butters so makes sure you check that out!
8. Don’t expect the container to come home empty. There is a lot going on at lunch and kids get distracted. I often offered Benjamin his lunch again when he got home 🚌 🏡 as a snack and that would tie him over until dinner.
9. Be prepared for messes! 🧽 Spilled yogurt, smeared hummus, half eat sandwiches 🥪 loose in the bag…you get the idea! Iysol his bag every night to keep it from getting smelly and a few times I have put it right into the washing machine to clean it up.
🔟Have fun with it! 😃 If you pack some known favorites and some familiar foods, your kids will be happy. I try to ensure I have lots of healthy options and offer a variety in the lunchbox. I also recommend following the ladies tagged in this account for so many incredible lunch and food ideas!
P.S. Don’t forget a love note! Customize your Childs Luvkin by signing your name or adding a heart, or simply dropping one into their lunch box!
What questions do you have about back to school? Would you like more back-to-school tips and ideas? Would you like a back-to-school list of Must Haves? Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️
From the author:
My name is Lauren and I am a mother of three children, a boy (5) and two girls (3 and 1). I am also a teacher. My son started school last September and I decided to document his lunches as a way to explore creatively and make the task of packing lunches a little more fun. I spent a lot of time researching about lunch boxes and looking for inspiration online during the spring and summer leading up to school and I wanted to share my ideas with others. Many of the lunches I pack are also for my daughters and some are for my husband or myself. I love sharing recipes and food ideas that are simple, quick, easy, and family friendly. As an elementary school teacher, I see lots of lunches every day. I have spent several years teaching kindergarten and it is where my heart lies. I love working with young children and learning with them. I love making their first experience with a school setting a positive one that honors their curiosity and eagerness to learn.
You can follow Lauren on IG @learningandlovingtolunch