Friday, August 26, 2011
Pack School Lunches Faster and Easier | Family Economics
School lunches can be a joy to your child, your child’s teacher and to you. However, when you forget to pack one the night before or forget to pre-package all the goodies for the week, they sure can be a pain!
Here are a couple of ways to make the prepping and packing process as smooth as possible, allowing you to keep the joy in packing lunches:
1. Make your own mini packs at the start of each week. Set aside half an hour before the week starts, perhaps while you’re indulging in late night TV on Sunday, and prepare all the carrot, apple or raisin packs. Fill them up in small reusable containers, such as Ziploc® Brand Containers, to last the week. Add a few drops of water to each of the carrot containers to keep them moist and add some lemon juice or apple juice to the apples to keep them from browning.
2. Pack during or after dinner. Get this task out of the way and crossed off the to-do list while you’ve got food on your mind and while you’re in the kitchen.
3. Schedule your lunchbox washing time. Have two lunchboxes for each person who takes one to school or work. This way you don’t have to run to the store for a back-up if one gets left behind by accident. Set up a cleaning system and communicate it with your family. Perhaps every Wednesday you wash lunchboxes and every Thursday they’ll get their second lunchbox. This will allow enough time for the lunchboxes to dry in-between uses.
4. Train your kids (and husband) to empty the containers out. There’s nothing like finding Friday’s lunch that turned into a “science experiment” inside a kid’s lunchbox on Sunday night. Get your family into the habit of emptying food from their plastic containers once they return home from school or work.
5. Freeze baked goods. Make a double or triple batch of your favorite muffins and freeze them. Toss one or two into lunchboxes in the morning and they will thaw in time for lunch. They will also keep other items in the lunch box cool.
What have you found to be the most helpful for packing school lunches and avoiding the “morning rush?”