One Mom's Plan to Let Her Kids Pack Their Own School Lunches This Year

By: Foodlets

They’re back at it! Our year-round school already started a few weeks ago, and this year I’m trying something new for lunch. It’s called: Three Small Kids Pack Their Own Lunches. Here’s how it works:

On the weekends I prep two platters, one full of fruit and the other with veggies. These are the only lunch “side dishes” for the whole week. Then I narrow in on two “main” ingredients for the week. Think peanut butter, tortillas, roasted chicken breast and so on. Each day I whip up a main dish for lunches using one of the two chosen ingredients in a different way — many of them can be made ahead of time. 

Every day when the kids come home from school, they wash out the lunch boxes, I set out the platters and the main dish, and let them go to work! Each kid fills a box full of just the right combination of fruits and veggies, then the whole thing is stored in the fridge for the next hectic morning ahead.

Here’s a sample menu focusing on two main ingredients from this week, mozzarella cheese and eggs:

But the options are endless, especially if you really embrace the whole trick: making two things out of one ingredient and rotating through the week.

Even peanut butter can get interesting: Peanut Butter & Fruit Wraps + Peanut Butter Rollie-Pollies

Once you get into the habit of reusing a couple ingredients throughout the week — and having the sides sliced, diced and ready to go — the packing is so simple that kids can cover it in five minutes flat.

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Charity Curley Mathews blogs at about simple recipes full of fresh ingredients for busy families and beginner cooks. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, four kids, two puppies and 40,000 bees. You can follow her on Facebook to find out how her experiment ends up.

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