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Teach Your Kids To Make Their Own School Lunches

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

This is an old favorite from our blog archives. Although it was originally posted in 2016 it stands true today. The mornings can be the most stressful time in a growing family's day. Try this to lessen your load!

Now that you can get your kids out the door in the morning, let’s make it even easier on you by enlisting your kids’ help in making their own lunches.

I have a friend who is a kindergarten teacher. Years ago, even before she transitioned back to work, she enlisted her young kids to make their lunches. When our daughters were six and eight, I decided it was time to teach them to make their own lunches.

The Goals:

  • Lessen my morning load

  • Give our kids additional responsibility as growing household members

  • Teach them how to feed themselves healthfully

As a family, we talked about why it was important to start taking on additional levels of responsibility in our household. The girls listened, shared their concerns, but eventually bought into it. They even got excited about brainstorming all the options that they could take to school! Momentarily they dreamed of daily Nutella sandwiches, but I brought them back to reality and reminded them that we’re striving for the same healthy lunches that mom packed for you.

To get us started, my friend shared her Lunch Ideas charts...It’s a fairly straightforward process:

Pick a belly filler - get help heating leftovers for the Thermos if need be Choose at least one, and ideally two growing foods - one fruit and one vegetable Pack one to two snacks - including crunchies, chewies, and/or sweet stuff

It’s really that simple! It took about a month for us to settle into our new routine, and I certainly help them occasionally. But overall, they drive the process. They help pick out lunch friendly foods at the grocery store, and once a week they get a break from packing when they buy school lunch. After school, they are responsible for cleaning out their lunch boxes, putting their used containers in dishwasher, and letting me know when we run out of items.

All in all, it works well. Do they still ask for Nutella sandwiches? Sure, and occasionally they take those to school as well. In general, enlisting our childrens’ help with morning lunches has moved us further along in involving the whole family in our household chores in the morning!

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