Preparing lunch boxes for children can be an overwhelming task when back-to-school is coming. We have to get the good habits back in place and try to optimize our precious time. Here’s some tips for preparing your kids lunch boxes easily.
1. Plan lunches in advance
Create full menus and detailed grocery lists, there is no better way to start! Discuss the various options with kids. This task is not solely the responsibility of the parent in charge. Everyone should bring constructive ideas. Your kids will give you some interesting inputs to help you fill up their lunch box!
Once balanced meals are set, display the menu on the fridge, at least two weeks ahead. Make a beautiful menu planning on the computer, print it and ask children to decorate it.
Of course, after the thinking process, we have to take action! Prepare and cook the day ahead. And if possible, lock a good two to three hours, ideally on Saturday or Sunday to get ahead of the week.
No need to complicate things. One or two boiled eggs, raw vegetables, cheese, bread (or good crackers), and a portion of fruit will make a quick lunch! The youngest often like things simple and unmixed because they like to be able to recognize each different food. Older ones prefer sandwiches, which are funnier, of course.
2. Involve children to prepare their lunch box
Kids must cook! Children love to get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Cooking is really an activity they can enjoy. In addition, it makes them more independent and more responsible. So make them join to the lunch preparation. If they have the age and ability for, they can cut or peel vegetables, fruits, etc… As teens, they should be able to do everything by themselves! Just supervise to ensure that the lunch box is composed as a salad, potato chips, water and… a sandwich and cookies!
3. Give them a break
It is good to relax a little and then choose a day of the week when we don’t prepare lunch. Younger people are enrolled in the school catering service, and teens have a planned budget for the occasion (they eat either at the cafeteria, or outside).
4. Choose the right lunch box
The container is as important as the content! Try to properly organize and care for the presentation. Bento boxes are kind of Japanese lunch boxes where everything is tidy and compartmentalized! They are now easily found in general or specialized shops. Some gadgets are useful as well. Like containers to transport and store fruits which usually delicate and spoil quickly (banana, peach, etc…).
A quality bottle of water (stainless steel or aluminum), plastic containers, reusable lunch bags, sandwich and snack bags, utensils, durable napkins cloth, or a bento formula! Some schools have also established special programs like “green lunch box” (such as avoiding the use of plastic wrap, aluminum foil for example) and accompany the parents throughout the project.
Here is a selection of practical and original school lunch-boxes recommended by our readers on Amazon: