Teaching Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches

We are a month into school now, and I can’t even believe it. While I have been a parent of school-aged kids for 6+ years now, I am still learning and adjusting. Some things I have learned since the kids have been back in school:

  1. I need to look in each of the kids’ backpacks every day, to either clean them out or find homework and teacher’s notes. 
  2. The kids do not eat whole sandwiches. I really dislike seeing them come home and throw the uneaten parts in the garbage. 
  3. If I pack the kids what I want them to eat, then it doesn’t get eaten.
  4. I’m not much of a morning person. I’m not grumpy per se, but it takes me a while to get going.

Teaching Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches

With what I have learned, I have come to the same conclusion that I frequently come to after the start of a new year. Teaching kids to pack their own lunches is going to be a necessity in my house. It will help with points 2-4. They make their lunches from time to time, but I’ve come up with a new system to ensure the kids are eating well-balanced meals. It’s the sticker method!

Teaching Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches

As many of you know, I really like the Simply Balanced food line at Target. I feel like these are a more nutritious option to snacks and foods we already purchase. Many of their items are organic too, so I feel at ease feeding them to my kiddos. 

Teaching Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches

Instilling responsibility in young children is a wonderful thing. Here is my new method for allowing the kids to pack well-balanced lunches on their own.

Teaching Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches

When the groceries get unloaded from the car, have stickers on hand, ready to be affixed to said items. You can use whatever stickers you’d like, as long as there is a different one for each food group. I have small heart-shaped stickers and we use the purple for protein, orange for juice, blue for grains and red for fruits and veggies. With my help, the kids figure out which sticker goes onto the groceries. Then they get put away in the pantry. When it is time to make lunches, the kids know to pick one item from at least three different groups, plus a drink. The kids know how much they will eat for lunch, so I stopped stressing about enough or too much. They pick, and have been doing quite well so far!


As an added bonus, select Simply Balanced items are a whopping 30% off using Target’s Cartwheel App during the week of Sept 13-19. I simply love Cartwheel and use it every time I shop at Target, and next week’s bargains for back-to-school lunches and snacks, can’t be beat. Plus, head over to Target’s site for a variety of useful recipes.




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Emily Buys

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