As I was packing lunches tonight for both kids, I realized this is the beginning of a long run of lunchmaking enthusiasm. Um, another 12 years or so? Or at least until they get tired of my sweet little sandwiches and cheesy notes. I wonder when that will be?
Last year was a good test-run with one kid getting lunch so this year I decided I need a plan. Mainly so I could stay organized and always have necessary items on hand and to pull it together quickly at night or in the morning if I had to.
First thing was I made a list of all the "lunch staples" our family needs in any week. I tried to include some fun ideas like making mac & cheese once a week or spaghetti and meatballs (in a thermos of course) for the day. I compiled my list of "must have every week items."
This list looks something like this:
- Tortillas (for sandwich wraps and quesadillas)
- Pita chips
- Pasta sauce
- Salad dressing for dipping
- Lunch meat
- Mac & cheese
- Fruit in season
- Granola bars
With these items, I can pull off a week's worth of lunch no problem.
Then I made sure we have all the right gear. Yes, if you know us well here at Baby Bunching, you know we are all about gear. That includes food gear. We have slowly been moving away from plastic bags and trying to be more eco-friendly. My absolute favorite food container for every member of my house hold is the Sistema Food-to-Go. It's divided for three different things but it folds up nice and compact. This year, I'm adding a thermos because my younger child likes to take hot lunches. I had a hard time finding one that was short and wide enough for their lunch boxes. But I settled on these from Pottery Barn Kids. Also from Pottery Barn, I love love love, their little itty bitty storage container. I think it's about $2 in the store. I use it for dips and ketchup. It's the perfect size and cleans up easily. I actually went back this year and bought a few extra because even my husband likes it for salad dressing. New to me this year are the Lunchkins Sandwich and Snack bags. So we're going to give these a go.
I'm just wondering if I can keep up this energy throughout the year.
Now for all of you...we'd love to hear what about your kid's favorite packed lunch beyond PB&J or ham and cheese.
(photo from Pottery Barn Kids.)