With the hustle and bustle of the school year, we can get lost in the day to day of worrying about our kid’s lunch. For our family lunch for kids is a big to do, because we have one very good eater and one not so good. So how are we making sure we have lunchbox organization for lunches this school year? Well for starters we’re focusing on independence and staying organized in the home – here’s how.
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Organization and Why It’s important
Organization for an anxiety-ridden OCD busy mom is super important because on any given day I have lots of thoughts in my head. So I find that making sure we stay organized in our routines helps us as a family. While some days we don’t stick to our routines it helps and serves as a great guide for getting through our mornings, afternoons and evenings.
For my children feeling like things have a sense of order and direction helps them to know where they are going next and builds an anchor. Here are a few reasons why staying organized when you’re a busy mom is important.
- Better time management
- Helps in setting goals
- Makes life a little easier
- The ability to plan ahead
However, as busy moms, we must remain practical in our planning and staying organized. If you know that you only have 30 minutes to get out the door in the morning, don’t wait for the morning to pack lunches. Keeping realistic expectations for how you plan to stay organized is optimal so that you don’t fall into mama burnout.
If you like setting goals there is a little trick I like to use to help out. Additionally, because staying organized is important you must plan if you hope to be successful at it in any way. I love using a planner that can provide me inspiration as well as give me enough space to write everything down like this one.
How does this apply to lunchbox organization? Having a plan for lunch for the kids will help you be able to meal plan better for your week. Lunchbox organization is not just about having all the cute lunchbox essentials but making sure you have things in place to execute lunch for your children daily is where you want to be.
Kid Lunch Ideas
My son is going into the third grade and I remember back in kindergarten, all he wanted was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Lunchables, and cookies. Because he is a super picky eater we kept providing a variety of healthy snack options that we knew he would like to make sure he was eating enough beyond the two staple lunches he kept choosing.
I recently was able to test out 50 Lunchbox Ideas for Young Eaters by Jen of Simply Living Jen who compiled a great list of lunchbox ideas for kids with all kinds of options. Another one of my favs I’ve discovered is the Lunchbox Cheats by Lexi’s Lunch.
As my babies have gotten older and we pack lunches for both kids we have expanded our lunch options and do a lot more.
Here is a short list of options we like to use when packing lunches, and as a disclaimer, these are not all healthy options because my goal is to have them eat and stay full until dinner. Dinner is where I put my focus on providing healthier meals.
- Main Dish
- Sunbutter and Jelly
- Sunbutter and banana
- Spaghetti & Meatballs (Chef Boy R Dee)
- Turkey & Cheese Roll-Ups
- Tuna Sandwich
- Sliced Turkey Hotdogs
- Healthy Snack
- Cucumber Slices
- Carrot Sticks
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- String Cheese
- Whole Wheat Crackers
- Kids Choice Snack
- Fruit Snacks
- Graham Crackers
- Waterbottle Everyday
- Juice Box
- Chocolate Milk
- Almond Milk
Lunchbox Organization Essentials
All items can be found here in my personal Amazon Store.
You’re equipped with why it’s important to stay organized and a few lunchbox ideas. Now we need to keep all the items for lunch together so I wanted to share what we’re using to help us out this year.
I am using a lunch planner, which you can print for free and begin to utilize. I plan on Saturday morning for the upcoming week this way when I am shopping I know what to shop for and what I need to rebuy that we are running out of.
You can also use Glad or Rubbermaid containers and they work just as fine, a more expensive bento box option is here. I like to use these to keep items separate or make homemade Lunchables.
For keeping juice cold and saving money on not having to buy juice boxes consistently. We interchange!
This helps in keeping the hot food hot, we use this for soups, nuggets, hot dogs etc. And because my kids don’t eat lunch really late in the day it stays pretty warm.
Funny Lunch Notes
My son loves the little notes I leave in his lunch box, you can choose to write them yourself or buy ones already made!
When you want to make fruit skewers, roll-ups of any kind. These help to keep them together and are overall great to have in the house.
Silicone Cupcake Holders
Use these to separate snacks in the containers when you need more than
Reusable Ice Pack
For keeping cold items cold
In my kid’s classrooms, they must bring in a reusable water bottle once a week to be refilled at school.
Independence & Organizing The Essentials
My kids are old enough I believe to learn real-life skills so I encourage them to help out with choosing their lunch for the next day. They know their options and choose one item from each section in order to pack their own lunch the night before school.
I don’t believe in hand-holding in all areas of parenting and although I’m a helicopter mom with pride, I want them to feel empowered to make healthy and smart choices.
I set up a Healthy Snack area in the fridge and a Snack Choice area in the cabinet. The kids have the option to choose 1 snack choice (these are not healthy) and up to 3 healthy snacks to go in their lunch each day.
The kids love the ability to choose and feel confident in their choices. This I have found boosts their independence and their willingness to eat their lunch completely daily at school.
How are you planning your school year and lunchbox organization? Are you a busy mom looking for tips and guides for practical parenting and self-care? Join the tribe and get instant access to the weekly newsletter and a self-care challenge that’s fun, inspiring and easy to do for any mom on the go and tons of planning resources for busy moms!