Easy Packing Lunch Ideas for School

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You know those awesome letterboards people do on the first day of school and last day of school for their kids, every year?

That’s not me. That’s my cousin Kelly. She kicks mom tush at things like that.

And the amazing Instagram and Facebook posts of all of life’s challenges being met and celebrated with date/time stamps of the most adorable kids ever?

Also, not me. That’s my cousin Jennifer. And she kills it with cuteness and love.

Now that I think about it, ALL of my 50 cousins are kind of amazing at the parenting and the social media thing. I must have missed that gene.

I get the summer homework done, make sure the kids have all the supplies plus extras, and uniforms, and that they wake up early enough that we can eat breakfast, pack bags, get dressed, and walk to school by on-time whistle without any screaming, most of the time. That’s me. But that’s about all I have, and it takes everything I have.

And I pack a mean lunch. Yup. That’s what you get. Food, and Love. And next to zero social media documentation of anything.

So here it is, a moment of reflection on each of my kids as they enter 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades, and as I get ready to pack lunches for the first week of school, and try to figure out how so much time has passed so quickly and how to make sure that I freeze the moments of pure love and joy as we work through and grow through the challenging ones.

Gracie woke up the other morning, cuddled right next to me in bed. This is the third child that basically sleep trained herself a few days after she entered the world, and now at 6, has been wanting to sleep with mommy every-single-night-going-on-a-year. But these are the small moments to be treasured, right?

She still sucks her thumb and carries her Moo Cow lovie everywhere. And falling asleep next to her and her thumb-sucking little slurping sound, while annoying to her siblings, sounds like beautiful sweet white noise to me.

I asked her if she heard the gigantic rain storm through the night? She said, “Momma, I sleep so hardly I didn’t hear one thing.”

And I didn’t correct her. I just smiled with a warm heart. The same way I do when she climbs onto my lap and basically folds her body in half to cuddle it all against my chest at basically every meal. Her ‘r’s’ are perfect just the way they are; when adults lovingly immitate her voice, or her sibs correct her, she just tells them, “that’s my accent.”

She’s the longest, tallest going-into-first grader ever. Her vocabulary is nuts. She’s strong like a bull, breathes fire like a dragon, and dances like a butterfly through the world. And I couldn’t love her more.

Cecilia Seton was the first of the three to have her summer homework done, completely and correctly, in spite of not at all liking her required reading book. She also went on Amazon and ordered all of her own required school supplies, and those required for her sibs, and labelled the envelopes for each of them with the specific random cash amounts required. And then prized herself for having done so with a fancy new gold backpack. She skateboards anywhere she can, stood on a surfboard and rode a wave all the way to the beach her very first time out on her own, while sick. She’s the girl with a plan, a solution, a compromise for the greater good, and the one that keeps us all on track, with her big toothy grin and crazy hair that’s still yet-to-ever have been trimmed. I’m not worried about her taking on life and making the most of it, and helping everyone around her do the same. Every darn day. She’s too tough on herself. That’s it, that’s my one challenge with this kid. And one that’s all too familiar. I wish she would see herself for the brilliant, fierce strong girl that we all do, always. And her heart, oh that heart, if ever her body and mind are perfectly placed in any situation, her heart absolutely is. Watch out 3rd grade, here comes your fire starter!

AJ’s 10 now. And also so tall, that he will no doubt take his favorite aunties in height before the end of the year. He’s the best big brother, friend, and son we could all ever dream of. He’s sentient, and just oozes peace and calm, always, even under the most challenging circumstances. He wants to know why his parents are divorced, and how the earth actually got here. And my answers to both are similarly insufficient for his big brain and bigger heart. I have no doubt he’ll solve those and all the other mysteries of his world in time. He’s a deeper thinker, a solver, and a lover. The tips of his hair are a different color every 6 weeks; it’s just his thing. He’s not sure where his iPhone, charger, and Beats are at any given moment. But that’s only because his head is always buried in a book. Sometimes I think he’s going to absolutely wear me out with his daily agendas, and then I pause and realize he gives me life, hope, and the energy to just keep up and keep on. And I’m so, so lucky that he’s my son.

Easy Packing Lunch Ideas for School

I asked the kids what their favorite lunches are. They do a great job of brainstorming lunch which honestly is the harder half of the work. I wouldn’t necessarily partner the foods they do, but so long as they are balanced, why not just go along with what they actually want, right?  Grace would only eat eggs, salmon and chocolate if that were a choice. It’s not. Cecilia refuses eggs, is picky about all protein, and would live on olives, and salt and vinegar chips if one let her. I won’t. AJ is my easygoing, sandwich-happy kid, who loves whatever he’s packed, says it’s always the best lunch ever, so long as the foods don’t touch and/or leak on one another. No sog Mom. That’s all. Everything else is great by him, but please pack extra because he loves nothing more than sharing his lunch with his entire table. And the one next to it. And his teachers too.

Grace’s Lunch Menus for the First Week of School

Monday:

  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip  Cookie
  • Salmon Leftover from dinner
  • Broccoli Leftover from dinner
  • Apple Slices

Tuesday:

  • Chocolate Cake Pop
  • Cut up Rotisserie Chicken
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips

Wednesday:

  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Half a Bagel with Cream Cheese
  • Strawberries

Thursday:

  • 1 Dark Chocolate Hershey Kiss
  • Pork Slices Leftover from dinner
  • Corn off the Cob
  • Clementine

Friday:

  • Banana Chocolate Chip Flax Muffin
  • Steak Sliced, Leftover from dinner
  • Banana
  • Couscous Leftover from dinner

 

Ceci’s Lunch Menus for the First Week of School

Monday:

  • Locatelli Romano Cheese Slices
  • Honey Crisp Apple Slices
  • Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pieces of Roasted Chicken Cut up from Leftover dinner

Tuesday:

  • Grapes
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • KIND Nuts and Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Rice and Black Beans Leftover from Dinner

Wednesday:

  • Salad with Brianna’s French Vinaigrette
  • Carrots
  • Sliced Bell Peppers (red)
  • Hummus
  • Crackers
  • Olives
  • Pomegranate seeds

Thursday:

  • Raw Green Beans
  • Gluten Free Pretzels
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Chick Peas
  • Gurkin Pickles

Friday:

  • 1/2 Bagel with Cream Cheese
  • Mango slices
  • Pineapple slices
  • Olives
  • Cucumber slices and dressing

AJ’s Lunch Menus for the First Week of School

Monday:

  • Apple Slices with Honey
  • Nutella
  • Pretzels to dip
  • Sliced Pork Leftover from dinner

Tuesday:

  • Dried Mango Slices
  • Turkey, Lettuce, Tomato, and Mustard Sandwich on good bread
  • Tortilla chips

Wednesday:

  • Dried Cranberries
  • Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
  • Clementines
  • Grapes

Thursday:

  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Shrimp Cocktail and Cocktail sauce
  • Pita Chips
  • Peaches

Friday:

  • Sliced Steak Leftover from dinner
  • Watermelon chunks
  • Couscous Leftover from dinner
  • Carrots
  • Brocolli

 

Yum, right?

And for this bonus round: our sweet friend, Gia, happens to be with us right now and was more than happy to chime in too!

Gia’s Lunch Menus for the First Week of School

Monday:

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Apple Slices
  • Pineapple Slices

Tuesday:

  • Wheat bread, Turkey breast and Mustard sandwich
  • Strawberries
  • Pretzels

Wednesday:

  • Dried Seaweed
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Hummus
  • Crackers

Thursday:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Salsa
  • Cheese Quesadilla
  • Orange slices

Friday:

  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Blueberries
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Dark Chocolate

Can you even believe it’s time to add these items to our shopping carts/lists/orders and get them packed?  Me either, but here’s where we are, so we may as well get to it!

Our Favorite Easy Ways to Pack all these Delicious Lunches

 

Happy memory making and catching! Eat and Love well, and the rest will come. xoxo A

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About Author

The Mom Edit Home Editor. Fierce lover of momming, 3 amazing kids, blessed with the most wonderful family and friends, likes coffee black, wine dry, chocolate dark, and salt chunky, resting position is in motion, particularly where salt water and wind are involved. Moderately obsessed with home design. Feels super lucky to be a part of this community. xo

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3 Comments

  1. Black beans, tortilla chips, and cheese is always a huge hit with my toddler. We use the snack boxes from Easy Lunchboxes because they are perfect for toddler portions. I love that water bottle too. I have one for myself and it’s wonderful!

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