Yep, kids!  Kids, kids, kids, kids and lunch, lunch, lunch.  Our thirteen year old and four year old pack their own lunches for school. I do not micromanage either of their lunch making.  If they need help deciding what to put in their lunch I help with that.  I also have a little meal plan on a sticky inside one of the kitchen cupboards if they want to follow that or get ideas.  The thirteen year old's lunch bag is bursting with food, sometimes I think he may need a larger lunch sack!  The four year old is not winning any nutrition rewards for his lunch, but he comes home from school with an empty lunch box!  He's eating and not wasting any food.

If you are thinking about starting this plan at your house, I highly recommend it!  Here's why . . .

  1. Your children will get to know their way around a kitchen.
  2. Your children will learn how to feed and nourish their own bodies.
  3. If your child packs their own lunches, they are less likely to forget it in the morning.
  4. Like I mentioned above, if you child packs their own lunch the amount of wasted food is almost nothing!
  5. Most importantly, it's empowering.  And whenever you can empower you kiddos you doing wonders for them!!!

And if you do start this plan at your house, here's how it will mostly likely go . . .

  1. If your kids are older and you tell them it's their job to make their lunch, you are going to get lots of push back.  So your old kids will probably need their hand held through this, lots of reminding, etc.  Don't give up or give in.  Your kids are capable of making their lunch, they can do, they should do it and it will take one more job off your back.
  2. If you do start making your child's lunch be prepared for the messing sandwiches, the kitchen getting destroyed, them eating while they make their lunches.  Don't worry about it, think of the long term goal . . . your children are learning to care for themselves.
  3. In the beginning this is going to take about 45 minutes per kid per lunch.  I know, it's a lot of time and yes, it's easier to just do it yourself.  But don't!  Just turn on the music, grab a magazine and assist your kiddos when they need it.  Let them learn to do this.
  4. You will figure out the best time in your house for lunch making.  Here are some suggestions . . . right after school.  If your kids have snacks after school then they can snack and make their lunch all in one motion.  After homework, but you will probably get a lot of push back on this.  Another time is right before they go to bed, maybe they could have their after dinner treat (if that is an option in your home) while they pack up their lunch.  And lastly, but I think it's the worst time . . . before school.  This is when Ian chooses to make his lunch and works great for him.
  5. For the little ones try a three week plan.  First week you make their lunch with them near by, second week get them on board to help choosing foods, making the sandwich, etc and the third week you are around to assist, but they are doing it.

Give this a try and give it three weeks!  You will love it.  And you will be empowering your kids!