I’m so excited about this new School Lunch Packing Chart, it has honestly both streamlined and revolutionized the first step in our lunch packing process over the last couple weeks. And I don’t think I’m overselling it! I got the idea from the comments on my Back to School Lunch Routine post and have been testing it out with my own kids … thank you to commenter Michelle for this awesome tip!
As I said in my post about our routine, each week I add a few items to the grocery list specifically for school lunches. That was just me on my own thinking, “Okay, we’ll get some grapes, apples and maybe a pack of string cheese.” But, even if you are an avid cook, you still sometimes “forget” about certain options. So I sat down and created this chart with every single (good-for-you, of course) school lunch food I could think of and put it all down on this document.
How the School Lunch Chart Works
The idea is you print (and even laminate) the chart as an easy way to ask your kids what items they’d like in their lunches the upcoming week. I originally thought I would still mostly be making my kids lunches for them and using this as a guideline for what to buy and pack.
But, during our first week using the chart, things got even better than that. On Sunday I just got out all the stuff they had requested and said, “Here’s what you picked for your lunches this week … start packing!” Adding the chart to our routine removed the decision of “what to pack” (the hard part, in my opinion) so, without hesitation, they got right to work on packing lunches for the next day.
What I personally like the least about packing school lunches is figuring out what to pack each day (using your brain can be hard at the end of a long day, haha). If all the decisions are already made for me and I have the ingredients on hand, I don’t dread the process nearly as much! So, you can see why I am so excited about this new chart. :)
You don’t have to laminate this document, but I do recommend it for easy use over and over again (I just walked into Staples and got mine done without having to wait too long). I even like having my kids use different colored dry erase markers so I know who asked for what when I go to add things to my grocery list (although knowing my kids so well I can usually guess who picked what without the color coding, LOL).
So anyway, I hope you enjoy this chart as much as we do and that I am not building it up too much here. Obviously, this first installment does not cater to any special dietary needs, but if it looks like something that will work for you please try it out and let me know how it goes!