Stress Free Lunch Boxes


How I Navigate School Lunches

I have 4 school aged children and I have to say right from the start that I have a love/hate relationship with the school lunches / lunch box routine that I have. Every morning, Monday to Friday, I wake up before the rest of the house and immediately start on the school lunches. Once they are done I am relaxed enough to not obsess over it during my morning shower, which also leaves the kitchen bench clean and clear for the morning tirade of breakfast preparations that my husband and children get up to.
Often the night before I will cut up fruit and put it in containers and leave it in the fridge. Then in the morning I can put it in the lunch boxes all ready to go. My husband often get’s up early to help me with the sandwiches and we talk whilst most of the other children are asleep. It is nice to have that time together. It isn’t as ideal as spending time together, cosy in a local Thai or Italian restaurant (with good wine…mmmm good red wine)…I digress. But it does give us a chance to talk to each other about what each other has on that day and if there is
So I am up early every morning anyway and have decided to use this time for getting the school lunches ready. My children do have alarm clocks but I like to be up early to support them and help them prepare for the day. They do most of it themselves and I am just there for anything extra they need.
4 children don’t always like the same food, so lunch is food that ONLY all 4 will eat. They all agree upon a type of healthy muffin and cook a big batch up on Sundays. They all get the same sandwich or salad in a Tupperware box. Well actually, With the sandwiches I normally do them all the same. Depends what I am making. For example, if I decide to do egg/lettuce sandwiches, I know that four out of my seven children only like it. So the other three get vegemite or honey or something easy.
They all get the same type of frozen milk/fruit juice box. I do however think of the different tastes of my children when putting them together. Not in an over the top way, but in a small way. For example: certain children like green apples and certain children like red apples. Some like grapes and some like pineapple. So I tend to personally cater only in that way. Bulk yoghurt in small Tupperware boxes is a great idea, or if you can afford it, bulk multi packs are great too, just be super careful of the sugar content. Yoghurt is a healthy way to get protein, probiotics and calcium into your children, but the sugar content is not.
Often my children will help me out the night before in putting crackers or corn chips in the lunch boxes if we are doing those things for the next day. Another thing we do bulk on Sundays is dips – hommus, sweet potato dips or pestos.  There are also a heap of other things you can bulk prepare on Sundays and freeze for lunch boxes during the week such as cookies. My oldest and youngest love zucchini and corn fritters! Check out Mamabake for ideas.
I find it really helpful to have a list of what you can put in a lunch box for your kidsWhy My Husband & I Find The Term “Hands On Dad”, Offensive. Read more … » and if you are exhausted with a sick child (or a sick self through the night) you can refer to it to help you out. Pay week (my husband is paid monthly), we will take advantage and order tuckshop one day for each child. This takes care of ‘big lunch’ and costs (for 4 children) around $10.00 to $15.00.
I know you are probably thinking this is all just insane but it is a routine that for some weird reason works for me and for those of you thinking of having a large family…be prepared to put together a lot of lunch boxes over the years. 4 lunch boxes x 5 days a week is approximately 600 lunches a year.

About our contributor:

Jasmine is mum to 4 children. Wife to travelling business man and lover of all things that create a stress free, streamlined existence as a part time worker, home maker and mama.

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