School lunch in 4 easy steps

Annette Belnap, of Tips From a Typical Mom, shared a few ways to simplify the school lunch process at home.

1.Organize Yourself:
a.Get the family involved in the process by choosing what they will eat.
b.Don`t buy foods your kids won`t eat
c.Printable Food List: Lists a bunch of food by category to help choose a variety
d.Printable Calendar: Helps you each night prepare and each week`s shopping trips
e.Printable Shopping List: Helps you get out of the store faster

2.Organize your kitchen:
a.Wash all the fruits and veggies when you buy them and then pre-package them
b.Bulk is cheaper, so when you get home, divide up the crackers and treats into bags
c.Designate a shelf in your pantry and fridge just for school lunches. Or use a fun rolling cart from Ikea.
d.Label how many of each food item your kids can choose from each bin
e.Have the family help clean up the kitchen after dinner then set out what they want for lunch the next day in a designated spot on the countertop. That way, in the morning, they can just grab their bag, fill it with the stuff from the counter, and grab their fruit and veggie and drink from the fridge, and they`re done.

3.Don`t buy foods or pack foods your kids won`t eat. If you want to introduce new foods to your kids, do it at dinner time. If you`re not there when they are eating, and it`s something new, chances are, they won`t even try it.

4.Don`t pack your kids too much food. They will throw it away or bring it home and you`ll find it a few weeks later all moldy and gross in their backpacks.

5.Use reusable containers as much as possible to cut back on waste. Show containers from Walmart and water bottles.

6.Use Pack-It lunch boxes so their foods and drinks will stay cool.

7.Send a fun or inspirational note in their boxes each day to uplift them.

8.If your child is having a hard time making friends, maybe send them with an extra treat in their lunch box with a note that says, 'Share this with someone who needs a friend'.

9.Cut your sandwiches on an angle because they don`t get squished that way.

10.When it`s your kids birthday, wrap all their food items in wrapping paper for fun!

11.Some of our favorite snacks:
a.Frozen grapes
b.Banana roll ups