How to Pack Good Lunches for Your Kids

Advanced planning can make all the difference.

Cherylyn Feierabend,
October 17, 2009
Episode #135

Page 2 of 2

How to Choose What to Pack Your Kids for Lunch

So, now you’ve got all these great containers and it’s time to decide what to put in them. You probably know what kinds of food your children like and what type of sandwiches to pack. If you are like me though, sometimes you stand in the kitchen just looking aimlessly around wondering what to pack anyway. Well, maybe that’s just me. I’ve found that preparing items in advance can help a great deal. I don’t like to prepare sandwiches too far in advance, but sometimes I will make them the night before. One tip for those of you whose kids are like mine and don’t eat the bread crust is to use a large cookie cutter to make the sandwiches into fun shapes like stars or hearts. If you cut the bread crusts off or use the cookie cutter before you make the sandwich, you could save the crusts to make bread crumbs or feed to the ducks on your next walk down to the park. As for those side items you’ll be adding to the lunches, preparing them in advance can be a great time saver! Yogurt cups or frozen yogurt sticks make great add-ons for lunches and you can just grab one and toss it in the box. Fresh fruit or veggies can be cut up and placed into small containers in advance. Pack up a week’s worth of containers and you have another healthy grab-and-toss item. You can also pre-pack cottage cheese, cheese cubes, crackers, or even dry cereal. Certain fruits like apples or pears will brown if you cut them up in advance, so you might want to consider leaving those whole; or if you do cut them up, rub them with a cut lemon or some lemon juice to help prevent browning. It’s still best to do this when you know the fruit will be eaten within just a few hours.

Should You Pack Your Kids Dessert for Lunch?

Finally, I personally think it’s just fine to toss a cookie or two in the box. Everyone likes to find a treat in their lunchbox! If you’re packing a good, plentiful, healthy lunch, your child will have more energy to get through the day. My daughter often has a few items leftover when she gets home and she’ll finish her lunch up as her afternoon snack. I like knowing that she’s had enough food to fill her up. Check with your child and make sure they aren’t hungry during the later hours of school. It’s harder to focus when you are hungry and school is definitely not the place to lose focus. Now, if I could just find someone to pack my lunch for me, we’ll be all set!

If you have your own great lunch-packing tips, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section for the transcript of this show at the Quick and Dirty Tips website.

That’s it for now. Thanks for listening.

If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

Packed Lunch image courtesy of Shutterstock


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