Summer is here and the kids are home from school for a few weeks … or months!Although I’m sure you’ll enjoy spending some extra time with your children, you might be stressing about what to do with them this summer. It is my lunch packing vacation time. Yay for the lunch packing vacation but meal times especially can be worrisome since the last thing you want to do during the summer months is slave over a stove all day long. If this sounds like you, here are a few tips you can use this summer to help make lunchtime go a little more smoothly.
Plan your Menu
Planning your lunch menu is the best way to get through this summer with all of the kids at home. Before you do your grocery shopping, use a calendar to pencil in a few meals you know will be easy to make for lunch. You can then buy all of the ingredients and supplies you need for the week. This will make it much easier to throw together a quick lunch since you already know what you’re making and since you already have the needed ingredients.
You might be surprised to hear this, but many schools and cities have lunch programs you can use. These meals are usually sack lunches and can be served anywhere from your local school to an area park. Contact your city to ask them about any area lunch programs. Even if you only go once a week, that’s one less meal you need to plan and prepare.
You have to admit that last night’s dinner makes an excellent lunch, especially on those busy days. This meal is easy because you simply need to warm up whatever you cooked the day before and serve it up to those hungry kiddos. If you usually don’t have enough food leftover after your family has eaten dinner, try making a little more than normal. You can even set aside some leftovers before you serve dinner to make sure there’s enough for tomorrow’s lunch.
Make it Simple
Lunch doesn’t need to be an extravagant affair. Instead of planning a five-course meal, throw together a “snack” lunch or a simple lunch that everyone can eat. This can be anything from a box of Macaroni and Cheese to a plate of nachos. Since nutrition is always important when it comes to meals for your kids, add some yogurt, veggies or fruits into the mix. Carrot sticks or apple slices are the perfect sides to transform any snack meal into something nutritious. An added bonus of keeping it simple is that these lunches are quick and easy so you don’t need to be stuck in the kitchen all day.
How do you manage lunch time during the summer? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Kimberly Grabinski says
These are great tips! My kids think that being able to make their own “fun lunch” which is basically a bento style lunch is the coolest thing so I often declare it “fun lunch” day which they love.
Paula @ Frosted Fingers says
These are great tips! One of the things I was dreading this summer was lunches for all the kids. David and I got into our own routine over the school year,
Rachel @RunningRachel says
Audrey at Barking Mad! says
Summer is when I try to encourage Gaby to be creative and explore and play with different food combinations. She’s extremely picky and during the year, if she doesn’t order at school (she goes to a great private school that prepares fresh, whole food – and she actually likes some of the items on the menus) it’s usually the same old thing if I make a lunch for her, plus we’re in a rush and don’t always have the luxury of experimenting and getting creative!
Hopefully this summer we’ll have been able to come up with a few additional things to add to next year’s “lunch from home” menus!
Nicole Brady says
We’ve taught the kids this summer that they need to take the initiative and make their own sandwiches or have leftovers. It’s been great (and less stressful) watching them take matters into their own hands. Yes, simple is good and that’s what we try to do.
Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says
Love these tips, you guys! We totally need a schedule, summer is still so new for us, but you’re right, we gotta get one going (at least for MY sanity lol)
Lisa Johnston says
I have been dreading summer break for this reason. My kids seem to want to eat non-stop. Thank you for the tips. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks lunch doesn’t have to be this well planned out menu!
We’ve been winging it for Summer lunches. I’m so burnt out from making lunches all school year.
Liz Mays says
I love leftovers. That’s like a mom’s night off!
My teens are constantly asking me whats for lunch…you would think at this age they could figure it out for themselves!
valmg @ From Val's Kitchen says
Our summer lunches are often sandwiches, they’re easy to make, have room for choice and don’t heat up the house. The other choice is leftovers.
These are great tips. i have seen a couple of lunch programs in my area, I think that is a great idea.
Valerie Remy-Milora says
We love to prepare food together in the summer and the girls get really creative in the kitchen and with fun and easy meals. Papa gets creative with the grill so it really becomes a treasured family time 🙂
Valerie Remy-Milora says
We love to prepare food together in the summer and the girls get really creative in the kitchen and with fun and easy meals. Papa gets creative with the grill so meal time really becomes a treasured family time 🙂
Jen - Life With Levi says
We’re trying to get into menu planning since the girls are home for the summer with us.
Tiff @ Babes and Kids says
I always try to make it simple because that’s what my kids like best. I need to be better about planning though.
Crystal Green says
I never knew that some schools offer lunch programs during the summer months too. That was informative. I also do tend to keep lunch simple in our home all the time because we have a tendency to eat an early dinner here a lot.
This is a great reminder to keep it simple and don’t stress about lunch! Great tips. I’m horrible about meal planning and it definitely shows. I need to do a better job of that!
Jennifer @ Mom Spotted says
Great tips. I’m trying to NOT plan anything other than what time I drag my kids out of bed.
Sara P. (@SensiblySara) says
Great tips! I have a hard time changing up lunch choices over the summer months!
Kat B. says
Awesome tips! I have been winging it all summer and it hasnt worked out well.