Maybe it’s a silly thing to worry myself with but I work really hard NOT to serve the same kid lunches day in and day out.
Some might argue that if you find a kid lunch they eat without complaint, what’s the harm in serving that same lunch on repeat?
There is nothing wrong with this approach for kid lunches.
My kids, particularly the older two, set the bar VERY HIGH for eating a large variety of healthy foods. They aren’t ever picky. The tendency to fight eating typically comes from wanting to power struggle (which I simply don’t do anymore).
BUT I’ve also noticed that once they are tired of eating something, it takes me a LONG time to get them excited about eating that thing again.
This can be a real bummer when it comes to something simple like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I want to have PB&J at my disposal any time. It’s one of the best fallbacks for simple kid lunches when you need something you can make ahead or when you have five minutes to get lunch on the table.
As such, this has become a detail that I DO worry myself with alongside all the other things that rattle around inside my mom brain.
I want my kids to have variety AND a well balanced meal full of nutritious options.
In an effort to simplify the kid lunch process, I’ve started a <growing> list that helps me to quickly choose a main dish plus a couple sides. This list also helps me ensure we have what we need on hand, adding things to the grocery order as needed.
When planning, or putting together a kid lunch, start by selecting a main and a side from both options 1 and 2. If your main includes something like a veggie already OR if you have growing kids who are empty pits when it comes to meals, consider an item from Side Option 3.
I always serve a glass of milk and keep top of mind any dipping sauces they might like with their meal (i.e. ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Ranch, Hummus, etc.).
We tend to do more processed/convenience foods for lunchtime for the sake of simplicity. In turn, our dinners feature a lot more wholesome made from scratch options.
It’s my preference to serve fresh fruits and veggies over canned or frozen BUT my youngest is struggling with textures right now and I’d rather get him what he will eat versus fighting that battle. PLUS I grocery shop for two weeks at a time and the fresh tends to run out before the next delivery hits our doorstep.
OH! and don’t forget your leftovers! Lunch time is a perfect opportunity to work through some odds and ends from dinner on previous nights!
Grab this free printable – and add to it with your own favorite go-to main and side ideas:
Mine hangs on the fridge and helps me to simplify – if even just a bit – this complicated life of raising kids!
Psst: keep an eye on Simply Writeous social media for videos to feature recipes for additional main dish options that you can make in bulk and freeze!!
Love and Hugs from Colorado,