FFTC’s Guide to School Lunches

School lunches are packed and loaded.  We are ready for the big day.  The first day of school.  Whether you are starting a new school or a new school year, our kids need to eat to be able to perform their best.


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

Image courtesy of fambalee.com

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.


Getting ready for a new school or a new school year? FFTC is your resource for Back-to-School Guides.

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