With school starting next week in Michigan, it is time to start thinking about the dreaded job--packing lunches! Since both Stu and I are usually out of the house as the children leave for the bus, it is very important to us to streamline as many of the morning chores as possible.
On Saturday or Sunday evening, the kids and I spend about 15 minutes making a consolidated effort to pack lunches for the ENTIRE week. I have a bin that stores snacky items and I organize the drawers according to "Kid food groups"-- Salt, sweets, junk, and fruit. I give them certain parameters to work within such as, "this week we need to have 6 items in our lunches--one snack, one sweet, one salt (Junk), a yogurt or cheese, a main food (sandwich, cheese crackers, mini bagel, soup, etc), and a fresh fruit. Since we are packing for the whole week at once I prepare "coupons" that say yogurt, cheese stick, strawberries, grapes, etc. so that refrigerated items are not left out to rot all week!
My husband, who gets the kids ready in the morning because I teach EARLY at high school, simply looks at the "coupons" and fulfills the last bit of the lunch each morning. Towards the end of the year, my 9 and 11 year old were starting to do their own "coupons" which helped us out even more.
I find that this method saves a tremendous amount of time.
Happy School Days everyone!