The kids have purchased their school supplies, I have replenished their wardrobes and now it is back to the bittersweet part of back to school…School Lunches. Making three lunches really should not be a chore to a mother but in fact a chore for the kids. My children are definitely old enough to fill in their lunch boxes with snack, fruit and drink choices. It is about time I started getting organized in the kitchen.
As I was getting ready to write this post I remember having taken some pictures of the pantry and never got around to writing up the post. When I went back into IPhoto I found that the photos were taken in the Fall of 2009. Wow how time flies.
Part of my children chores in the evening is to pack their lunches. I am happy to make the sandwich, Quesadilla or hot noodles but feel the kids really need to pitch in and fill in the other basics.
Here is the updated 2012 version. Now, I also have another pull out that has snack size plastic bags they can use if the reusies are dirty. They can fill up with boxed or bagged snacks without moving a finger!!
My middle schooler decided to make a menu of her meals, designating which days she could have a dessert. This menu is taped inside the pantry. I hope she can stay this organized.
- Rethink your cabinet space. Choose a cabinet to be designated for the lunch center. If you still have short people at your house, be sure to choose a low cabinet so everyone can reach.
- Empty that cabinet of its current stuff. Sort through it and find new homes for those things.
- Gather all of the lunch supplies: Plastic bags of snack and sandwich size, napkins, plastic flatware and all of the non-refrigerated food that you approve of for lunches – even the peanut butter and a loaf of bread. Organize the supplies and the food products in the cabinet.
- Grab a plastic large food container, minus the lid, and open the refrigerator. Place the lunch meat (make sure it is in its own sealed container), cheese sticks, fruit and so on that may be used for lunches into this plastic container. Place it on a shelf next to the drinks purchased for school lunches.
- Take time to instruct the family, pointing out that the lunch cabinet is off limits for after school snacking. There should be plenty of other things in the pantry for that use. Also point out the section of the fridge that is for packing lunches.
- Packing lunches the evening before is a great way to relieve morning stress. During the after-dinner clean-up, have each child go to the lunch center and choose their side items. The next morning, all that needs to be added is the sandwich and drink. Sandwiches can be made ahead and refrigerated, if you wish.
- Keep the cabinet stocked. Now that everything for lunches is in one spot, it is easy for you to pop open the door and eyeball what is needed from the store.”
This is not a bad idea for adults either. How often do you find yourself scrounging for something to grab for lunch and end up eating junk? We could probably be a lot healthier if we followed our own rules!! Now the trick will be to see how long it takes before this plan falls apart:)