In Oregon, most of our kids head back to school next week after our final hurrah over Labor Day weekend. I know that this sounds late to a lot of parents, but it’s something that we’re used to out here and truly appreciate since summer doesn’t kick in until July 4th. I know it sounds crazy, but it really is true.
Gearing up for our first week back to school has been fun since our kids are still of the age where they look forward to school each year. In fact, I may be the only one around here wanting to hold on to those lazy, fun days of summer break. They picked out their school supplies, have been talking about all their friends they can’t wait to see, and helped me set our first week of meals, including the most important part for them: school lunches.
What’s on our menu?
It should be no surprise that my daughter wants Macaroni and Cheese so I’ll make a big batch over the weekend. My son requested snack lunch, along with Banana + Almond Butter Roll Ups – check! Other favorites they asked for include pasta and slow cooker chicken.
Thankfully, I have enough ideas from them for two weeks of meals! Now we just need to make it happen.
And that happens in the morning here. How about you – do you prepare the night before or bring it all together in the morning? It’s important to us that our kids get nourished before and at school so that they are ready to learn. If that means a little extra effort on my part in the morning, I’m ok with that. My daughter goes through phases where things like blueberries or broccoli are top of her list one day and completely disgusting the next week. I certainly don’t want to necessarily encourage those “phases” but I also need her little body to be fed well.
Of course, I say that extra effort is worth it now. Today. When I’m not getting myself ready, helping the children get ready, and faced with breakfast and lunch preparation all within about 90 minutes of rushed time. Without coffee!
Perhaps I should better address that coffee issue and set the timer on that the night before?
Some of you have sent me notes asking for suggestions on lunch gear and I’ve shared this list of recommended kid-safe (no BPA, lead or PVC) here. In years past we updated the list with new products but we really didn’t see anything new this year that we felt was any better than the products on last year’s list. We won’t share items that we wouldn’t use ourselves or come endorsed from trusted friends.
Our top favorites for lunch gear, and truly the ones that we use the most are:
We’re on our third year with the PlanetBox and I’m not sure who loves using this more – the kids or me. They like that they get a wide variety of food (snack lunch!) and I love how easy it is to pull that variety together. Easy to clean, pack and for little hands to open/close too!
We use these almost daily! Whether we’re keeping leftovers warm, or yogurt + granola + frozen fruit cold, these are one of my must-haves.
The .4 liter size is perfect to fit inside most lunch boxes and plenty of water for lunch time.
We use these for chips, fruit and sandwiches. I love that we’re not using multiple plastic bags each day.
So, I’ve shared a lot of our favorites but I’d love for you to share yours! Tell us in the comments below how you save time in the morning, your favorite lunch gear, or your kid’s favorite lunches!