The kids are going back to school!

And you know what that means? It means that you are making lunches for them to take to school, which you haven’t done in about 2 years. I know! Me neither!

Take a deep breath and let’s walk through this together.

Take a mental note and think about what your kid(s) like. Do they eat fruit and veggies? Will they eat left overs? Will they eat sandwiches? Both of mine will eat peanut butter sandwiches but they don’t particularly like the peanut butter substitute. Other than that, no sandwiches, which limits options.

I asked a few of my fave moms what they are planning on packing for their kids when they hike off to school. Below are a few suggestions. We can use some extra ideas, right?

Money

For those kids that are in high school, a common thread seems to be proving them with a few bucks to grab a snack at either Starbucks, grabbing a slice of pizza, or even pick up some sushi at the grocery store. This builds some autonomy and allows them to have a choice with what they want to eat for lunch. Not to mention the walk they need to take to get to the store.

Fruits, Cheese and Crackers

Peaches, grapes, pears, and apples are common fruits that are packed. Simple to toss in the lunch bag and let’s face it, you feel great doing it: sending off your little ray of sunshine with healthy fruits and veggies to eat. Pat yourself on the back! Accompaniments tend to be a few slices of cheese with some crackers. Toss in some carrots and cucumbers, and voila-the perfect, healthy lunch.

I wish it were that easy for either of mine, alas…not so much.

Think “Food Groups”

Another mom tends to think in terms of the food groups: carbs, protein, dairy, fruits/veggies. In this case, she packs 2 carbs (such as a croissant, bagel, mini pitas, crackers, and goldfish), along with 2 dairy (such as cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt) and adds 2 veg/fruit (such as veggies and ranch, berries and a salad). As a protein, she adds a chicken salad that can be added with the carb as a sandwich or eaten separately with a fork.

This is my strategy of choice. As both of my kids tend to like different food items, I can mix and match according to what I hope will not come back home.

Soup and Salad

One mom mentioned to me that the focal point of her 3 daughters’ lunches is soups and salads. Every now and again she switches it up with a wrap. For snacks, she throws in a granola bar, fruit, or yogurt with berries on the side.

This is another great idea for me, particularly for my daughter as she will eat salad at least 2-3 days per week. Neither of my kids will eat soup though. Granola bars are always a hit as are yogurt and berries.

Bring on the Snacks!

One friend of mine has made the decision not to pack her kid’s lunch bags. She leaves that task, purely in their hands. She will purchase items, and her 3 daughters will pack their own lunch. When I heard this, I was insanely envious…

On top of that, the girls (not in high school yet) will decide to make themselves a grilled cheese sandwich or a quesadilla in the morning and pack it themselves for lunch! I mean, where did I go wrong?

Along the same vein, one mom said that her daughter likes charcuterie board types of items: cheese, deli meats, crackers, grapes with melba rounds.

Energy Bowls

This was a lunch that totally piqued my interest as my daughter would be all over something like this! According to this mom, she makes quinoa as the base and just adds a bunch of stuff that she has in her fridge already: beans, beets, corn, shredded carrots, chick peas, chicken, green beans and she tops it with a peanut dressing. What a great way to use left overs!

So there you have it! A few ideas that you can use to pack lunches for your kid(s). I hope this was helpful and if you have any other ideas that you want to share, please add your comment! I would love to get some other ideas.

Have a great start to the school year and stay sassy friend.