FFTC’s Guide to School Lunches

school lunches

Minnesota is now offering free school lunches to everyone at school and it isn’t dependent on income.  I, for one, find that very helpful.  But there still could be some days when my kids want to bring their own lunch, so here’s a way to help us pack lunches more easily.


School Lunches by the List

Every year, I make a diagram of what needs to be included and post it above the lunch making station in our kitchen.  (I make that sound so official.  Really, I just posted it above the counter where we make the lunches.) This guides kids who can read and are ready to pack their own school lunches.

school lunches
image courtesy www.clevver.com

It’s super easy to whip your school lunches together when you have the supplies on hand, so have a grocery list of supplies for school lunches.  Even when you or your kids only have 4 minutes to throw a lunch together, it’s a snap when you have supplies available.

School Lunches Prepared Ahead

One year, I was determined to be extra prepared to send my kids off to school. I learned about making enough pb&j sandwiches for each day of the week for each kid and freezing them to take out of the freezer on the day of the lunch.

Sounds fabulous. Except it didn’t work.  The sandwiches were soggy or still frozen by lunchtime or both.

So I stopped doing it after the first week.

But I didn’t have to throw the concept of prepping ahead out with the bathwater. (Gross analogy. Now all I can think of is soggy bread). What I did instead was prep everything that wouldn’t get soggy or turn brown and organized it in the refrigerator.

I cut up carrots and bagged berries. I sliced cheese and boiled eggs. Then, I put the individual containers into one large container for easy grab-and-go. Some prep work put in at the beginning of the week can save a lot of time on busy school mornings and makes it easy for kids to put together a balanced lunch.

School Lunches Reimagined

Sandwiches and carrot sticks get old fast.  Kids love having something fun in their school lunches.  I’m not saying you should always include sugary treats, but you can surprise them with a different drink or a different fruit. You can even cut their sandwich into a fun shape. Some of our favorite recipes to mix up lunchtime a little:

Pinterest is my best friend for amazing school lunches.  But let me warn you with using Pinterest. You can’t do it all. There are a hundred ideas out there and we can’t do them all. So be kind to yourself.  Choose your favorite four or five lunch variety-ideas and make these lunches until you can do it in your sleep.  Because let’s face it.  Come February, you will be doing it in your sleep.

pizza delivered by yough!

But before we get shopping, I wanted to let you know about a new pizza and pizza dough that’s out there made with two ingredients.

What are the two ingredients?

  • Greek yogurt from Wisconsin farms
  • 100% organic whole wheat

We enjoyed the frozen pizzas both turkey pepperoni and the cheese.  And then, we took the naked frozen crust and piled on our own toppings.  We enjoyed our meal greatly.

Disclosure: FFTC was contacted by Yough!  They asked if we would want to receive a sample, so we gave it a taste. 

Cooked Yough! pizza

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