Nevada County schools are back in session!

School in Nevada County is back in session! For my family, it’s the time of year that seems most busy. Between activities, homework, birthday parties, bedtime routine, and all the other things that go along with the nevada-county-schoolsbeginning of the Nevada County school year, I find myself stretched pretty thin. I had to find a way to take some of the responsibilities off my plate but still make sure my kids had the things they needed. I decided lunches were a good place to start.

Save time by teaching your kids how to make their own lunches!

One thing in our family we have done since preschool was have the kids help make their lunch. They started out helping by doing things like taking foods like carrot sticks or grapes out of the bag and putting it in a container. Then we taught them how to make sandwiches. Last year was the first year my oldest (7 years old) became completely responsible for making his own lunch. You may be thinking,”that is a dangerous thing to put your child in charge of his or her lunch”. (Like sending the fox to guard the henhouse) and the mess… No way!

Guidelines

First of all, we had to set some guidelines when we started this. Since preschool they learned about the 4 elements that need to be in their lunch for me to consider it a complete meal. They need a fruit, a vegetable, a protein and a fat. We talked about what each of these are. We made a list of foods they like under each heading (Protein, Fruit, Vegetable and Fat.) When they make their lunch, I will ask them what their vegetable is or what their fat is. After all elements are included, they can choose an extra. This could be a granola bar or a fruit leather, tortilla chips, etc.

Cleaning up the mess

The other part of learning to make their lunch is to clean up. They have learned over the years that they need to put dishes in the sink wipe counters (and floors sometimes) and if they miss some of the mess, it’s not a problem because I’ll just call them back to clean it up again. I do let their teacher know that they are learning to make their own lunch so if it looks “creative”, they can praise them on their hard work and daring flavor combinations (and also not to supplement their lunch if he decides he doesn’t want to eat it) I also double check to make sure all elements and correct portion sizes are included (a sprig of thyme does not count as your serving of vegetable!)

Success!

All in all it has been a success. I have children that are learning life skills and I have one less job I need to complete every night.

Resources

Here are some resources I found if you’re interested in helping your kids learn to make their own lunch:

http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2015/07/how-i-taught-my-kids-to-make-their-own-school-lunch/

http://www.sunshineandhurricanes.com/kids-pack-lunches/

http://www.workingmomsagainstguilt.com/how-to-get-your-kids-to-pack-their-own-lunches/