Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Although our newly updated meal-planning system has been working extremely well for breakfasts and dinners, our success rate with lunch (and snacks) was getting really low. My biggest challenge was the different needs of the older and younger children. Since my two "olders" could put together their own basic lunches, I would have them do that while I was dealing with the nap and feeding needs of the "youngers". This helped me time-wise, but they just started making the same thing every day (because it was easy), and they eventually stopped adding any sides at all.

So, to increase the nutritional content and variety of their lunches, I decided to try out lunch bags. I've considered doing this for a while, but it always seemed a little silly to pack lunches when we are already in the kitchen with a refrigerator and pantry handy when it's time to eat. I finally just "took the plunge" and decided to see if it would work better for us or not.

Boy, what a difference! Now "pack lunches" has become one of our regular morning prep chores, and, when it's time to eat, I can just ask the kids to go get their lunch bags. We pack all snacks for the day in the bags, too. This assures me that they are getting a nice variety of food throughout the day, gives them a little more flexibility as to what they are eating when, and also cuts down on "pantry raiding" and whining for treats. Another benefit I foresee (though the weather has kept us from trying it yet) is the freedom to grab lunches and head to the park at a moment's notice.

We have added these small, stainless steel rectangular tiffins:
that stack together like this:
and fit perfectly inside the lunch bags. (You can find them online here.) Something about all the little compartments and everything fitting together so well makes it fun for both my kids and me to pack lunches (and cuts down on the use of plastic bags, of course). Hooray!

I would love to know how others manage lunches in their homeschool day--what works for you?


- Dana ♥ said...

You've been linked to Web Wednesday @

Thanks ☺

Family Style School said...

What a great idea!!