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It’s time! Back to school time that is. So much planning and preparation goes into getting the kids back to school and no matter how organized and on top of things I think I am, somehow it seems I always forget something. My weak spot is admittedly keeping tabs on our lunch supplies…you know after the first couple of days of the new school year have passed and everyone settles back into their regular routines. I think part of the problem is that my eldest is a high schooler and packs his own lunches. That means I don’t always know what we have and what we’re out of if he doesn’t tell me and I haven’t done the regular grocery inventory yet. This year I have a Kindergartner as well so that may change a bit since I’ll be packing her lunches, but I feel like I need a plan to keep me accountable and to keep her from living off of random potato chips and string cheese for 1/2 the week until I get back to the store. (Don’t judge!)
Keeping the kids loaded up with healthy lunches will require some preparation and planning on my part though or I won’t follow through after about 3 days. I’m a person that has to have everything laid out ahead of time and I have to have everything I need easily available and ready to go. Think meal planning but for school lunches. The menu has to be made up of easy to make, convenient foods, but without turning it into a bag of junk food. I think for this year, bento boxes are going to be the way to go. They fit all of the parameters – easy to put together, healthy options that cover all of the food groups can be included, and they’re fun to eat so the kids shouldn’t have any complaints either. I mean let’s face it, what’s the point in putting in the effort if your kids just go trade it off at school? Thank goodness our local Safeway has us covered!
A trip down the aisles at our Safeway store and I was able to pick up some pretty awesome lunch box options if you ask me. With a five and a 15 year old, it can be hard getting items that both kids will like, but I didn’t run into that problem this time. With Coca-Cola products like POWERADE, DASANI water and Honest Kids Juice and snacks like Lance crackers, we already have a great supply of lunch box basics!
Pair those with some super fun creations like PB&J Waffle Sandwiches, Ham and Veggie Kabobs, and Turkey and Cheese Sliders and you’ve got a pretty awesome lunch on your hands. Keeping the creativity flowing however, is where I tend to fall off the wagon, especially when my own schedule starts to get packed. To make sure that doesn’t happen this year I’m keeping a monthly menu on hand. Not only will that help me stay on track, but the kids will always know what’s coming up and I’ll know what I need to add to the grocery list each week. Below is the menu I’ve created for our first month back. Feel free to download and print a copy for yourself if you’d like!
For you coupon lovers out there, you can save $1.50 on any (1) Lance 8 count and larger sandwich packs when you buy any (2) participating DASANI, POWERADE or Honest Kids multipacks with tear-pad coupon found in-store. I don’t know about you, but for me, every little bit helps when you’re feeding two growing kiddos!
What is your lunch packing plan for this school year? What tips and tricks do you have for packing the perfect lunch? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!!