My Secret #4582 to Parenting is : Make the Kids Do it.
It can be applied to anything from helping with laundry, taking care of the pets, cleaning their rooms, getting their own cups of water to packing lunch for school. That’s right, I said: your kids can pack their own lunch. Maybe not the kindergartners, but with a little prodding and instruction my fourth grader is totally capable of making sandwiches and filling his lunch box (and sometimes he helps his sister pack hers, too). Somehow that extra 10 minutes in the morning has the power to totally save my whole day – or at least gives me time to drink a cup of coffee.
But what if they just fill their lunch box with sugary snacks?! You ask. This is where today’s free printable comes in. If you have been blessed with children who generally follow instruction, this printable can be your saving grace. My kids really do stand at the fridge and read through my instructions, making sure they have checked off each category. They especially love that last category. And although I am not packing the lunch, I am typically milling around the kitchen keeping an eye on things so giant packages of Oreos don’t go stowing away into their lunch bags.
Aside from saving me a little time each morning, the thing I like about this genius method of mine is that the kids can’t complain about not liking their lunch if they packed it themselves. They still get all the food groups I want them to get, but it’s on their terms. I am seeing a lot less food coming back home uneaten since implementing this beautiful little game changer and that is validation enough for me. Also, more time for coffee.
Here’s the little list of rules for packing lunch that I made for my kids:
Feel free to use my printable and trick your own kids into doing chores for you, too. If you are looking at my list and thinking, “That’s not MY definition of a healthy school lunch!” or “Those fonts are horrible Jen!” – no worries, you can make your own list at Picmonkey.com or even by opening up Microsoft Word (or LibreOffice if you are an open source daredevil like me) or heck, get out some crayons and a sheet of paper and go nuts. There are no rules here except the ones you want your kids to follow.
So what are you going to do with that extra 10 minutes in the morning?