This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield. The opinions and text are all mine.
Do your children take a packed lunch to school?
Mine do almost every day. I give them each a small amount of money on their school account so they can buy a school lunch once a month or so if it’s too crazy of a morning, but other than that, they are daily lunchbox packers.
Over the past four years of lunch packing, I’ve picked up a few tricks for making it simpler. I hope they’ll help your family too!
6 Tips to Make Packing Lunches Easier
Have easy-to-pack items readily available
I’ve made HUGE progress this year, thanks to our printable lunch list, and I try to make sure I have several good options for my girls every day. Ani, especially, loves a sandwich for lunch (my child for sure – I ate a ham sandwich for lunch every day for most of high school).
I love the new Smithfield Prime Fresh™ Delicatessen lunch meats that are available at Albertsons and Ani loves making herself a cheddar and turkey sandwich most days.
Ella likes to take a couple of slices in her lunch along with a few slices of cheese and some crackers so she can make herself a set of little lunch stackers at lunch time.
The Prime Fresh Delicatessen line includes turkey, ham and roast beef options and they’re all found in the packaged meat section of your Albertsons. I love being able to pick up deli quality meat without having to wait in the deli line (who has time for that?!).
Keep packed lunch supplies in one or two spots
It’s a big pain to have to search through every cupboard or fridge drawer to get everything for your lunch, so I try to keep all the lunch items grouped together in the cupboard on one shelf and in one drawer in the fridge. I keep the string cheese, Prime Fresh Delicatessen meat, and other lunch items all in one low fridge drawer so they can see it all at a glance.
Give your child the responsibility
My dad had a little phrase he said ALL the time when I was growing up: “I do things for you that you can’t do for yourself. You do things that you CAN do for yourself.” Basically, he and my mom were there to help us out as needed, but they weren’t going to do a ton of things for us that we could easily do on our own. Even a kindergartener can pack their own lunch with a little help and it’s one less thing you have to do as a parent! Plus, then they have ownership over what goes in their lunch instead of turning up their nose at whatever you packed.
Choose a sectioned lunch box
This might seem silly, but it’s helped my girls SO MUCH to not have one giant empty space to fill. They can see how much variety they need at a glance and once you’ve put a treat in one space, you know you don’t need treats in ANOTHER space.
Have a set time to pack lunches (+ a back-up time)
My girls make their lunch after dinner while Bart does the dishes. It’s nice to have that time specifically designated for lunch packing and not have to wonder where to fit it in during the evening routine. And then we also have a morning routine that’s padded enough to give them time to pack it in the morning if needed!
Have EVERYONE pack a lunch
Only two of the six of us go to school, but it’s super handy to have all your children pack lunches too. My little girls have lunch boxes and they LOVE being like their big sisters and packing a lunch the night before. Then come lunchtime at home, I’m not scrambling to make two more lunches for my little girls.
I’d love to hear your best tips for packing lunches in your home! And if you haven’t tried out the new Prime Fresh Delicatessen lunch meats from Smithfield, look for them next time you’re at Albertsons!
Photos by Heather Mildenstein