Hello!

The first 3 weeks of school were exciting. But then the reality of school lunches hit!

In the beginning…..A beautiful boy coming home each day with news of his adventures in Kindergarten and mornings with hot breakfast, freshly ironed uniforms, shiny shoes and someone eager to get out the door.

My shock was to come when the novelty wore off and mornings once again became dramatic re-enactments of a scene from a cheesy family sitcom.  Me struggling out of bed, the little kids being tossed into the car in pyjamas and wholesome home-packed lunches being abandoned for the somewhat dubious selection at the school canteen.

Lunch Dramas

Suddenly thoughts of whether or not we had fresh bread and cold cuts, fresh fruit and tasty treats for recess became all consuming. Late-night “scissors, paper, rock” to see who had to do the late night dash to the supermarket became more competitive than WWF Wrestling and my doubts as to whether I was really cut out for motherhood came rushing back.

As I’m prone to do, a 3am private session of pondering forced me to examine the problem in search of a solution.  I knew I couldn’t ask the nearly 5-year-old to step up and take responsibility for his lunch.

And the oldest male in the house wasn’t going to offer to upset his routine (he has a job you know). So I thought about the morning and what was going wrong …

The Main Issue

The biggest stress was getting school lunches under control – no bread, stale bread, ham that’s out of date, chicken that looks fine, smells fine but …

But what if the chicken wasn’t fine and he gets food poisoning, vomits all over the classroom floor and has to live with the embarrassment and I’m seen as one of those ‘out of control, not quite coping if you know what I mean’ Mothers …

There had to be a solution.

Enter the once a fortnight Sunday afternoon school lunches production line!

Arm yourself with two loaves of bread – the actual bread type is your choice but I like to mix it up and give him one white and one multi or one white and one wholemeal, half a kilo of sliced chicken breast, half a kilo of ham, a huge block of cheese, a 12 pack of lamingtons, a batch of mini pancakes (home made if you’re up for it), a batch of date scones (again how Martha Stuart you want to be is up to you) and at least two glasses of wine.

Biggest Tip To Getting School Lunches Under Control

Make up every last piece of bread with combinations to your kids’ tastes (if they’re not into meat and cheese, stick with spreads), wrap them individually and stick a tiny piece of paper with the sandwich filling just inside the cling wrap (this does two things – tells you what’s in the sandwich and makes removing the cling wrap easier for little fingers).  Pack them all into the freezer.

Do the same with the mini lamingtons, pancakes (mine like butter and jam between them before we freeze) and the muffins.

So that’s it – two weeks’ worth of lunches in one hour.

And freezing everything fresh means tasty sandwiches, even in Summer.

Get A Fruitbox

Add to that the phone number of a local guy who’ll deliver a box of fresh fruit to your door during the night (so you don’t have to chat to him) every week.

School lunches are now as simple as grab the lunchbox, open the freezer and choose a sandwich, and morning snack, visit the fruitbox for cherry tomatoes and fruit and in Summer, a frozen fruit juice in a box (putting to bed any fears of room temperature meats on tender tummies).

You’ll be amazed what the extra 10 minutes gives you time for each day. And more importantly, the overwhelmingly ever-present question of ‘do I have enough stuff for school lunches’ tomorrow will leave you more time to worry about something else!

You might even have time to slap on some lip gloss before you race out the door.

What are your top tips to get school lunches under control? Tell us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

  • I get my kids to make their own – from parent approved choices. Really reduces my stress.

    Reply

  • I make up 2 or 3 days worth, saves time

    Reply

  • Must admit, my hubby does a loaf of sandwiches on a Sunday and freezes them for our girls. No complaints and sooo so easy! Our bread doesn’t go stale, it goes mouldy!

    Reply

  • I had a box of lunch box foods in the cupboard that was regularly stocked up. I had a full fruit bowl and there was always refrigerated lunch box stuff too. I packed most of it the night before. It definitely goes more smoothly if you have a stockpile on hand and know what you’ll be packing

    Reply

  • I pack everything the night before and the non perishable are in the box and then the periables stacked ready in the fridge and they just need packing

    Reply

  • What great ideas on here!

    Reply

  • I always cook more of certain dinners because the left-overs can make delicious lunches the next day. Pasta, fried rice, stir-fry, and if I have left-over chicken schnitzel I make schnitzel and mayo sandwiches.

    Reply

  • On a Sunday I do my prep (we shop on saturdays). I remove all the grapes from the bunch and wash them, then store them in a large bowl, same with the strawberries, and blueberries. I cut the lettuce and wash it before placing it in an airtight container. Cheese is both sliced and grated. And I boil some eggs for my son’s lunch. Sometimes (like yesterday) I make up a batch of pancakes, or add cheese and crackers. In the morning I fill up fruit containers and place them in the freezer along with the yogurt. I then add mayo to 3 wraps and assemble all together. All up it takes around 10 mins in the mornings and about an hr on a Sunday. But compare that to the time it takes to do up the fruit and wraps in the morning without the prep and your probably spending double the time. the old saying “a little prep goes a long way” really rings true here!

    Reply

  • Great ideas

    Reply

  • Freezing sandwiches? Don’t they get soggy when they defrost? I make the lunches night before much easier then in the morning bags just need packing.

    Reply

  • I prefer to do it the night before so everything is ready to go!

    Reply

  • This is such a fantastic idea. I think I need to get a bigger freezer now!

    Reply

  • These are some great tips to solve the morning school rush. I always did this and added in the frozen juice box wrapped in paper towel. That way everything was cold and nothing got wet.

    Reply

  • We always made lunches the night before so there was no rush in the morning. A Friday or Sunday grocery shop and a small top-up Tuesday meant things stayed fresh too.

    Reply

  • great ideas, need to great a bigger freezer though to fit it all in.

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account


Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like

Loading…

Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating
Join