Here’s my secret: my kids don’t get a lot of variety in their lunches (or their breakfasts for that matter). I keep both breakfast and lunch easy on me – easy to prep, basic ingredients that I buy every week. (Plus, they are slowly learning how to make this stuff on their own!)
Here’s my basic game plan:
Tips and Tidbits:
- I try to put out the vegetables first for the kids to munch while I put together the other parts of lunch
- I usually use leftovers as much as possible. So, if we had a big salad for dinner, I’ll sub that for the veg + dip side. If we have olives, I’ll put them on the pizzas.
- I invite the kids to help as much as they want. We’re working on breakfast independence first!
- When I make rice for supper, I always double it and then use the leftovers for the fried rice.
- We often add fruit (apples, orange, berries) and a small dessert (like a piece of candy) – We’ve recently changed up the way we dessert in our fam. I’ll post about it soon!
- I usually make 3 batches of sandwiches at the same time (typically on Thursday) and freeze the 2 extra batches for Saturday (adventure day- lunch-on-the-go!) and Sunday (driving day)
- Some weeks I have string cheese sticks flowing out of my ears, so I’ll use them instead of shredded cheese (see below)
- I don’t make the same thing for every child. My daughter doesn’t eat pepperoni, so she gets cheese pizzas. One son doesn’t like PB, so he gets cheese sandwiches.
- Other ideas to mix it up: grilled cheese, boxed mac n cheese/canned pasta, leftover soup and salad, ‘snackable’ – boiled egg, crackers, cheese, nuts, sliced cucumbers and ranch
Note: this is my list for a week with three kids (age 3-8). Most weeks I’ll have leftovers (like PB, Jelly, etc) but I start with this list and then remove the items I don’t need to replace.