Packing school lunches every day can get tedious, and the results can be a little monotonous. (Sorry, my dear child, who has eaten leftover spaghetti and peas for the past five days.) One way to spread out the labour and make things more interesting for your kid's palate is to start a lunch-packing club with other parents.
Photo: Dee Speed
Team up with a few other mums and dads from your kid's class and take turns being in charge of school lunches for the week - for the entire gang. The idea is that if you already have all the food items out for one kid (bread, deli meat, grapes and so on), it's easy enough to assemble multiple meals. Kids can be introduced to new foods and snacks, and you might even start getting creative (tip: Ants on a log is a classic lunchtime hit). After your week is up, you're done for a while. Go ahead and sleep in for another eight minutes.
There are a few notes about this plan. It probably won't work for extremely picky eaters. Also, if your child has any food allergies, you'll want to skip this hack - other parents may not be as careful about reading ingredients as you. And you'll likely want to use disposable paper lunch sacks the way we did in the '80s - no one wants to wash four intricate bento boxes with 13 different compartments every evening.
With those things in mind, go ahead and start your club. Here's some advice about packing the best school lunch.
Get out those calculators and sharpen your 2B pencils - it's Back-to-School Week! Going far beyond the classroom, Lifehacker is bringing you genius tricks and ideas on how to start routines, brush up on old skills, or learn something new this year.