Make a plan for lunches

So I’ve developed the same philosophy about lunches and snacks that I have with breakfasts. I must have a plan. Nothing is worse than the days I didn’t plan and everyone’s hungry for lunch and there’s nothing to eat. A gang of four cranky, hungry children is not a force to be trifled with, especially if you’re hungry yourself. First jot down all the meals and snacks your kids will like that you don’t mind fixing and will have time to prep and clean up. Or even better, that you can assign to them. Here are the options at our house:

  • BREAKFAST: cold cereal, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, muffins, yogurt, breakfast cookies, toast, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, breakfast bread, smoothies, granola
  • SNACKS: apples & peanut butter, fruit, nuts & raisins, cheese or humus & crackers, popcorn, cashews or almonds, smoothies
  • LUNCH: pbj/turkey sandwich, tuna, soup/grilled cheese, cheese pita wedges, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, carrot sticks, fruit, yogurt; chips or pretzels only occasionally

Then I go through and look at our schedule. If I know we have somewhere to be right after breakfast or lunch, or even snack time, I pick a low maintenance, low prep, low mess meal or snack and put that into the schedule. Once I have my schedule, I make a list of all the items I need to prepare everything on the list, including condiments. I divide that list into freezer stock, pantry staples, or weekly purchases and make a grid with my weekly menu and food items on the same page. That way, I can look at the list when I’m making my grocery list for the week and know what to buy or stock up on. Of course you can always deviate from your menu if you want, but usually by lunch my brain is too full of grammar and fractions or building a catapult to get all creative for a meal. Here’s what my page looks like:

BREAKFAST SNACK LUNCH SNACK
SUNDAY cereal none pbj/turkey cheese popcorn
fruit carrot sticks & fruit
MONDAY scrambled eggs apples & pb cheese pitas nuts & raisins
fruit carrot sticks & fruit
MM Muffins
TUESDAY oatmeal nuts & raisins soup/grilled cheese cheese & crackers
fruit
WEDNESDAY yogurt apples & pb bagel pizzas popcorn
breakfast cookies carrot sticks & fruit
fruit
THURSDAY scrambled eggs cheese & crackers pbj/turkey cheese nuts & raisins
toast  or hummus carrot sticks & fruit
fruit
FRIDAY cereal popcorn bean/cheese quesadillas popcorn
fruit carrot sticks & fruit
SATURDAY breakfast bread nuts & raisins cheese pitas cheese & crackers
fruit carrot sticks & fruit
hard-boiled eggs
WEEKLY SHOPPING LIST PANTRY STAPLES FREEZER STOCK
bananas chocolate chips cheese slices
apples oats pizza cheese
carrots pb mex cheese
grapes nuts sandwhich flats
eggs raisins ww pitas
yogurt crackers tortillas
laughing cow popcorn pizza sauce
turkey jelly butter
humus honey
soup
refried beans
cereal
salad dressing
wheat berries

The point is to know beforehand and have the food you need to prepare for the day. Nothing is more disruptive to a day than having to run to the store to get bread or mayo before lunch. Believe me, I know. If you haven’t tried a menu and standardized grocery list, try them for a couple of weeks and see if it helps you out! And if you have something your kids really like for lunch, please comment and let us know. I’m always up for new ideas!

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4 Comments

Filed under Family, Homeschool, Planning

4 responses to “Make a plan for lunches

  1. Pingback: Koha’s Lunch: Steak, Peas, Hard-boiled egg, Banana, Mandarin « mother daughter cooking show

  2. Pingback: Feeding Hungry Boys | 400 days until 40

  3. Pingback: Healthy Snack Boxes for Children « Archanastips

  4. Pingback: Who is This Morning Person? | Roots to Blossom

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