… It sucks….. just kidding, sort of.


Think about it, and go with me here, which may be hard to do because I am TERRIBLE at Math.  Let’s say you have a kid, that kid packs lunch everyday of elementary school.  Our school here is K-5 and approximately 180ish days…. that is well over 1000 days of packing their lunch….. well if that isn’t intimidating and a stat to show your teen to discourage having children too young I don’t know what is (again kidding, I feel like the internet won’t get my sarcasm unless I constantly point it out, it’s a real issue in my mind).

I am often asked to share more and MORE and EVEN MORE school lunch packing ideas, and honestly I feel like I am living a bit of a lie.  You guys…. my kids very often buy hot lunch at school.  Once I got over my own control issues and let them jump into the world of making their own selections and eating in the cafeteria, they started picking hot lunch over packed.  And I. FREAKING. LOVE. IT.

It is something I have thought more about in these months before my youngest starts Kindergarten of whether he will pack each day/ buy occasionally/ or from the start enjoy all the offerings of our school’s cafeteria… time will tell with that.

You’re probably like great, I read how much this lady hates packing lunches and I can commiserate, but WHERE ARE THE SUPER SERCET TIPS that will make my life easier?  Here are 3 things that I have found to help when we packed regularly:

    1.  Utilize your leftovers.  Buying a thermos and packing the tacos/pasta/chicken and rice from the night before.  Very little thought and a great way to not waste food!
    2. Limit the options.  I know our kids get bored eating the same sandwiches day in and day out, but isn’t that kind of a right of passage.  They don’t need some four course gourmet lunch each day.  A sandwich, fruit, and crackers will work just fine.  Don’t stress too much.
    3. Get them to help.  Starting at Kindergarten they can start to help with the packing process, and by 5th grade they can pack start to finish on their own.


And a bit of a bonus tip.  Don’t do something just because a blog or video says it’s the answer.  For example, I see all the time it’s easier and better to pack the lunches the night before, or make bins with labels of what the kids can take…. It’s a great idea, I agree.  But it NEVER worked for me.  I am wiped from the at night and in no way have the brain power to watch the latest housewives episode, let along pack 2 lunches and preschool snack.  I would rather take the extra time in the morning.  You have to find the routine and rhythm that work for YOU!

So that is where we are at with school lunches in our house.  I still keep a few items on hand in case someone wants to pack, and our lunch packing station is still intact as well.  If you are interested in seeing more about my lunch packing station or my lunch packing ideas with a printable click HERE.

pinable lunch

How do you handle school lunches for your kids, and who else is OVER it and ready for summer!?!?!?!?



  1. Randi says:

    So true!!! I was soooooo excited when my little guy got brave enough to buy school lunch. As for packing, if I let him have bins to choose out of it would take approximately 4 years to pack lunch (I feel you on the sarcasm and people never getting it 😋). I do a protein, a veggie, a fruit, and some crackers or pretzel type thing. If he eats his lunch the day before (he tends to talk and has been known to eat nothing and then be STARVING when he gets home) he gets a little treat (chocolate kiss, starburst, etc.). Either way, I am SO ready for summer!

  2. Danielle says:

    I am so over it! Honestly I don’t think packing school lunches saves me any money! They eventually get into the “lunch” stuff for a snacks too. So by the end of the week everything is gone and I have to buy more! Where as I could just do hot lunch at school, spend just about the same money and not have to deal with the headache and stress over packing the “perfect” home lunch.

  3. Amy says:

    Love your printable! My kids are the total opposite- they HATE to buy! When summer rolls around I try to keep up with my pre-prepping & packing routine at least 3 days a week, not because I love it but because it helps us easily be able to pack up and take lunch with us on outings 🙂 Take care! I love your accounts!

  4. Amber says:

    My daughter is in 1st grade. She has been making her own lunch since the end of Kindergarten. She makes a lot of sandwiches maybe every other weekend, and we bag and freeze those. We’ve also bought lunchables because I want to be a cool mom ever so often.Then, I have some tubs in my pantry with bagged chips, snack items she can take for snack time, and a tub with desserts. In the morning, she can easily grab pre-made items as well as a bag of fruit from the fridge along with her water bottle. I just glance in her lunch box to make sure she hasn’t grabbed 3 desserts, 2 bags of chips, and a piece of candy or something 😉
    It works for us for now, but we have 3 kids and as the other 2 start school, we may change it up!

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