As we prepare for back-to-school, we’re preparing for something else – getting back into routine. We’re getting back into a bedtime routine, back into a reading routine and back into a routine of making school lunches.
You would be surprised to learn how many days I spent standing in front of the full pantry last year, wondering what to pack for a snack for school – and that was just a snack. To avoid that this year, I knew I needed to come up with something different to add a bit of routine into school lunches, making it easier to put them together.
HACK: Make a Lunch Schedule
Within the last couple of weeks, I created a schedule that’s going to change the way that we make lunches. Monday to Friday, I’ve created a routine that’s going to take the decisions out of lunch.
The lunches had to be easy to make, incorporate healthy foods and, at the request of Olivia, not include traditional sandwiches.
Monday: Pitas + Dip
Pitas are a staple at our house so it’s an easy lunch to put together. Give the kids a choice of dips (favourites are tzatziki, red pepper or hummus) and toast the pitas with olive oil, Greek seasoning mix and parmesan cheese for a bit of extra flavour.
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese
Put into a glass container, hot off the pan, and it stays warm until lunch time. Grilled cheese is a nice change for those cold winter days.
Wednesday: Cereal + Milk
Cereal and milk easily go together. Find leak-proof containers for the cereal and milk and don’t forget the spoon. It’s an easy (and unexpected) lunch that’s a favourite for young kids.
Waffles are another one of those easy staples that you can find in the freezer and toast for on-the-go lunches. They’re an inexpensive, kid-pleasing option for school lunches that can be topped with everything from apple butter to fruit.
Friday: Meat, Cheese and Crackers
Meat, cheese, crackers and vegetables are a staple for lunches at home, so it just made sense for us to expand that to our school lunch menu. They’re simple, inexpensive and the container always comes home empty.
What About the Snacks?
Make sure you’ve got staples on hand like yogurt. Since we’re going through at least a couple of containers for lunches every day, we try to find the best price. Great Value Yogurt is affordably priced so you can pick up a few containers without breaking the bank.
Shopping for other snacks? Great Value brand offers peanut-free snacks for the classroom, gluten-free snacks for sensitive tummies and convenient options like drinkable yogurt, all which are perfect for the lunchbox – and you can find them at your local Walmart store!
Tip: to save money throughout the year, find a good-leak proof container for juice and water. Buying larger cartons of juice (like the 2L Great Value Mango Juice) is less expensive (and less wasteful) than buying individual juice boxes, which also helps to minimize litter in the classroom.
For parents making 200+ lunches every single year, sticking to a lunch schedule not only saves you time when you’re putting lunches together but also when you’re shopping. Want to save money as well as time? Look around Walmart the next time you’re shopping, and compare Great Value with name brands – you’ll be impressed with how quickly the savings add up.
This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada, as part of its Back-to-School program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.