Back to School for our family looks a little differently than most. As a homeschooling family our daily routine isn’t so much about getting out the door in the mornings on time but rather making sure we stay on schedule so we aren’t doing schoolwork all day long. It is easier to take breaks when you homeschool and I’ve found that keeping to a schedule helps us get our schoolwork completed at a reasonable pace.
One part of our homeschool day that can really waste time is lunch. When you homeschool you have to make lunch in the middle of your day, there is no quick visit to a cafeteria. While I love a hot lunch, the time it takes to make and eat a hot lunch on a weekday can easily waste 2 hours out of the middle of our day making it harder to complete our lessons after lunch.
This year I wanted to do something differently with our routine. Like others that pack a lunch for their kids the night before, I wanted to create some easy “lunch boxes” for me and my boys to store in the fridge until lunch time. That way, when one person is ready for lunch break they can easily grab a “lunch box” and have lunch without disturbing others that may be studying or working. By packing these lunch boxes the night before it will save me time of having to prepare lunch at lunchtime. Instead we can all just grab a lunch box, eat, and get back to our studies.
To create our lunch boxes, I visited my local Walmart to find all of the supplies and food we needed to make several different lunch box options. For our “lunch box” I decided to use some large Great Value entree containers. To divide different foods in our lunch I opted for some tin foil cupcake liners. The tin foil liners are sturdier than paper, however one could also use reusable cupcake liners or another option would be to use a container with dividers already built into it.
- potato rolls, peanut butter and jelly
Lunch #1: Mini Sandwiches
- chocolate pudding
- turkey, white american cheese, and tortilla
Lunch #2: Meat & Cheese Wrap
- cheddar cheese
- meat slices
- animal crackers
Lunch #3: Ham & Cheese Crackers
- fruit salad
- apple sauce
Lunch #4: Pretzels & Fruit
These are just some lunch box ideas one can make for back to school using products that can be found at Walmart. By purchasing products in a large container versus individually packaged products not only are you helping the environment by saving on waste but you are also saving money as well as each container holds several servings. I love that each lunch box can be completely customized to an individuals taste. Pretty soon, I hope to get the kids involved by adding “pack your lunch box for the next day” as a part of the kid’s evening routine. This will be a great way for them to learn how to make healthy choices and take charge of their own lunches.
Depending on what is packed into these lunch boxes will determine how travel friendly they are. If transporting something like pudding, I would definitely skip the tin foil cupcake liner and use something more spill proof like a small resealable container. If your children are in traditional brick and mortar schools, an option for you would be to create a breakfast box the night before that the kids can easily grab from the fridge in the morning to eat before school which will save a lot of “what do I eat for breakfast?” questions in the morning.