When my daughter started kindergarten and I had to send lunches, I tried to be creative. I had all sorts of “fun” foods, varying things often, balancing items in the lunches.
When my daughter came home one day, about three weeks after school started and said, “Mommy, can I just have peanut butter and jelly in my lunch?” I replied she could. And then she dropped the bombshell: “I want it every day.” So much for creativity.
As it turns out, though, it has simplified matters greatly. I have now streamlined lunches to the point where I get everything set on Sunday nights, and mornings just become a quick assembly.
This method has stood the test of three school years and three sets of summer camps.
How To Assembly-Line Lunches
Make the sandwiches all at once. I set up all the PB&Js at once. I make them all on Sundays and store them in air-tight containers the refrigerator.
Assemble snack bags. I include a “snack” with the lunch, so once a month I get big boxes of snacks and portion them out into baggies. They all get stored in a basket in the pantry. I grab one for a lunch, and my daughter knows she can choose any of the snacks for her after-school munching.
Prepared fruit. I usually send along a container of prepared fruit: unsweetened applesauce, plain or flavored; pineapple; or a fruit cup. I keep these in another basket in the pantry, ready to go. During the summer I portion out small containers of cut melons and grapes and leave those in the fridge.
Veggies. On Sunday evenings, I make up five baggies of veggies. This can be baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, raw broccoli or green pepper strips.
A Treat. For snack or dessert, I have pre-portioned out cookies or raisins and nuts into small bags. These are kept in the dessert “bucket”
Assembling a Lunch
It takes me less than 30 seconds in the morning to put together a lunch. I grab a sandwich and veggie from the fridge, add a snack bag, dessert and prepared fruit, and it’s done.
Photo by misocrazy