Look, we know kids need to eat. And for many parents, packing school lunches is something they really enjoy, which is great. But for the rest of us, a packed lunch is just one more thing on an already-lengthy to-do list and with all the rules about what you can and can’t pack, it’s become an exercise in not screwing up.
Plus, whoever designed today’s lunchboxes clearly is not a parent. It used to be that you threw a few things in a paper bag and called it a day. But not anymore! Now you need to be green (which, OK, fine, we’re all for saving the environment) and use reusable lunch boxes. Also fine. But someone decided that those lunch boxes need to have multiple containers, which means you are somehow supposed to come up with, at a minimum, five different food items for your child’s lunch.
So we weren’t all that surprised when a Food Network survey of more than 1,700 parents found that more than half struggle with what to put in their child’s lunch. A Food Network editor suggests that the key to making the daily lunch packing less stressful is to involve your kids, with the ultimate goal that eventually your kids can pack their own lunches.
A Food Network editor says “Having them help in the process sets the groundwork for getting them more frequently involved in the kitchen.” But we get that depending on the ages of your kids, this can feel like even more of a project.
So the Food Network offers tips for that too, including making sure that you have a dedicated place in the fridge for protein and then a space in the pantry for fruit and crackers. This way, your child knows where the ingredients are and can start to become more self-sufficient. And definitely make it a part of the plan to pack lunches the night before to avoid adding to the school morning insanity.
Editorial Director of MamasUncut. Currently back on the East Coast. Most days spent chasing after two young kids and our very patient rescue mutt. Learning that parenting never really gets easier it just gets … different. Love running and water views. Also all the coffee.