More Prep Equals Less Stress
Packing lunch for everyone every day of the week is time consuming, and can be intimidating. Whether you are someone who buys lunch everyday (for you and/or your kids) and you’d like to start bringing it from home, or you pack lunch every day but feel like your mornings are consumed with food prep and no time to breathe… I wrote this for you.
We have 3 children in public school. When our firstborn was the only one attending, I managed to make lunches in the morning before school, no problem. But add on a second, and then a third, and whoa baby something had to change.
I discovered this wonderful phenomenon known as LUNCH PREP.
Prep work relieves stress. Period. Most things don’t go as planned and flexibility is a must, but if you can approach each day strategically verses in in crisis mode you will reduce the amount stress in your life.
I’m going to share what I do now, and it works very well for us.
When my children get home from school, I have them do 3 things right away:
2. Put their shoes away
3. Unpack their lunchbox
Then, they sit down at the table for snack and homework time. As we are talking about the day, snacks are being gobbled, and homework is beginning, I wash and dry all their lunch dishes. I stop a few (sometimes several) times and dry my hands to answer homework questions, of course.
Next, I cut wash and cut veggies and fruit, slice cheese, and pack the containers with anything that will be okay in the refrigerator overnight. If lunch includes a sandwich, I wait until the morning of because the bread seems to get too dried out in the refrigerator.
My last step is stacking the containers in the refrigerator. I always organize them from youngest to oldest. There are a few days of the week that I’m not home early morning, and my husband does the school routine solo. Staking them like this makes it quick and easy for him.
Since we don’t have to pack lunches on the weekends, those containers have to go somewhere when not in use! I designate half a shelf in a kitchen cabinet for this. That’s all the space I need, for they stack together. If you have deep drawers in your cabinets, you can always designate a drawer for lunch storage like this:
If I am working a full day or unable to prep for lunches in the afternoon, I do it either as I’m cooking dinner, after dinner, or after the kids are in bed. Sometimes I feel like I can barely stand up once they are down for the count! However, I’ve found taking the time to prep lunches the night before is always worth it. I can take a little more time on my feet if it means the next morning starts out great.
Remember: MORE PREP equals LESS STRESS.
Happy Prep Work!
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