Now, we’re sharing another fun, summer lunch hack!
Ready for it?
Sounds genius, right?
Imagine with me.
Imagine kids not whining “I’m hungry!”
Imagine not frantically finding something for lunch at 11:30 am because you klost track of time….again.
Imagine your kids being more independent
Imagine kids complaining less about lunch.
This isn’t false advertising.
Setting up lunch stations for your kids can change all that.
And it almost feels too easy…ha!
Are you already fresh out of lunch ideas? If packing school lunches is a task that you dread or one that you find yourself rushing around to complete each morning, here are a few tips that may help.
1. Focus on nutrition. Those trendy, themed lunches with carrot trees and dinosaur-shaped sandwiches are adorable, but they’re also a lot of extra work and pressure. If you love cutting out star-shaped pieces of cheese, by all means, keep at it. But if packing a “cute” lunch is just adding stress to your morning, save those types of lunches for special occasions. Packing healthy foods like yogurt that’s loaded with protein and fresh fruit is much more important than creating a Bento-inspired lunch. Hey, yogurt can be cute too! Chobani Kids Savings created Chobani Tots Greek Yogurt Pouches that have fun characters on them like Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins. It doesn’t get much cuter than that!
2. Stock up on things like sandwich bags, plastic containers, eating utensils, and water bottles. Organize them all together. Stop jumping from one side of the kitchen to the other in an effort to grab everything you need to get those lunches packed. Use a basket or drawer to store all of your lunch packing essentials together in one place. Having everything organized and contained in one spot will help streamline the lunch packing process.
A few extras to include: Include pens and post-it notes for labeling and adding little notes to your child’s lunch. Sandwich cutters are a great tool to have too! Even if you don’t want to use them to cut sandwiches into cute shapes, a fun-shaped sandwich cutter in the bottom of a plastic container can be used to create individual sections for the foods you’re packing.
3. Take it a step further and create an entire station filled with healthy food options. Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, almonds, string cheese, deli meats, granola, and yogurt are all great choices. Opt for things that are portable like Tots® Greek Yogurt pouches and Chobani Kids® Tubes. These are not only delicious, but they have less sugar and more protein than the leading kids’ yogurt.
For foods that aren’t prepackaged, fill individual bags–disposable or reusable–with various food options. Non perishables can remain in the lunch station while perishables can be stored in a separate container in the refrigerator. Just pull it out and add it to the station when it’s time to prepare lunches. Your lunch station can be anything from a shelf unit or cart to a tray laying out on the counter. This same station can double as a snack station. Just replenish your food and supplies as needed — and you can grab coupons for your station at Chobani Kids Savings.
4. Get the kids involved! Here’s where having an accessible lunch station will really pay off. Let the kids choose from the many options available in the station and pack their own lunch. While you’re completing other morning tasks, they can be packing a lunch for the day. This system provides teachable moments on responsibility and making healthy choices. When kids are directly involved in preparing a meal, they are much more likely to eat what’s being served. Encourage them to choose foods from each food group. Even though they are getting plenty of choices, it’s still within the confines of what you provide in the lunch station.
Whether your children are in traditional school or you’re a home school family with co-ops days and outings, a lunch packing station is a great option to try when you frequently need lunch on-the-go. With a little organization, this super-cute printable, an ample supply of healthy options, and a system in place, you’ll find that packing lunches can actually become a quick and easy process!