During the last school year, I was packing 15 lunches and 17 snacks per week. With four kids each with their own favorites, I could make myself crazy honoring individual requests.
So I don’t.
Every day, I pack everyone the same lunch–whether that means turkey sandwiches, hummus & pita, or peanut butter and jelly. The kids each get the same snacks, too–everyone has an apple, or carrots, or tortilla chips and salsa, or yogurt. The kids know that some days they get their favorites, and other days they get someone else’s favorite, but it all comes out pretty even in the end. No one complains because they know that this is the way I do it and it’s not going to change.
During the summer, I basically do the same thing, but buffet style. If I asked each kid what they wanted for lunch every day, I’d be making 4 different meals every day. Not happening. So instead, I don’t ask. I put out a whole bunch of stuff—good, healthy stuff—and the kids can take what they like as long as they take a little bit of each type of food (i.e., everyone has to take fruit and/or veggies, but there are several options available to choose from). It’s actually a fun way to eat lunch and it saves me a ton of time and headache.
I started doing this last summer and this year the kids actually asked on the first day of summer break if we’d be doing “buffet lunch” all together again. I think that’s a good sign.
What are your favorite lunches? Any great ideas you want to share would be welcome–I’m always looking for new ones!