healthy kids lunch with carrot soup

3 Must-try routines for back-to-school lunches

Carol Harrison Healthy Leftovers, Picky Eaters, Time and Money Savers, Yummy Lunch Club Leave a Comment

Back-to-school lunches made easier

Hey guys,

Great summer? Awesome!

I’ll cut to the chase because I know things are about to get real busy with back to school activities and we’re already feeling the time crunch. Am I right?!

Our kids spend two-thirds of their day at school so of course what they eat matters and these 3 routines can help to make packing healthy lunches easier.

1. Set the new standard. Kids help to plan and pack their school lunches.

Why? If you have a fussy eater, one of the best things you can do is get them hands-on with food. It increases the chances of trying new foods while building food skills too. Of course, they’ll need your guidance along the way about food safety and making a balanced lunch. Think baby steps. This blog post includes 15 ideas for kids to help pack school lunches. 

2. Work smarter, not longer with some school lunch pre-prep on the weekends.

This is a great time saver. Consider giving your kids allowance for helping out. It shows them just because our lives are busy doesn’t mean we can’t eat good real food, we just need to get organized to do it.  For ideas see,  What food can I pre-prep on the weekend for school lunches?

3. Cook once, eat twice. Plan dinners with school lunches in mind. 

Packing up dinner leftovers for lunch can be a great time saver so plan to make extra dinner.  While I’m chopping carrots for dinner, I can chop a few more to pack for lunches. The idea is think of dinner and lunches as one task, not two separate tasks.  I already have a load of beef inspired recipes and videos on the blog that each give ideas for using dinner leftovers for lunch and this fall I plan to crank out more.


Glazed Beef Kabobs with Easy Asian Eggplant Recipe

Glazed Beef Kabobs with Easy Asian Eggplant

Beef & Mushroom Thai Lettuce Cups recipe

Beef & Mushroom Thai Lettuce Cups


Southwestern Beef Steak with Succotash Saute recipe

Southwestern Beef Steak with Succotash Saute

If you have any special lunch time challenges or questions about childhood nutrition, send them my way.

I’m a registered dietitian and I’m here to help.

Best wishes for a fabulous start to the back-to-school season. (And for any parents with kids starting school for the first time and feeling teary, if it helps to know, I barely made it around the corner of the school after dropping off my son before I lost it. It’s a milestone for parents as much as their kids.)



Would love to hear from you!