School Lunch Tips from a Teacher

Back to school is here and we have been getting all prepared about the upcoming school year. It’s hard to believe we are actually talking about this. Summer went by too fast! One thing that I need to be more prepared for this year is packed lunches. My daughter loves to bring her lunch because she really doesn’t like the school lunches. I totally understand but packing school lunches takes some planning and some time. There are a lot of good ideas and not so good ideas. After 16 years of teaching elementary school I’ve seen it all for school lunches. I have some great school lunch tips to share today from a teacher’s point of view.

Lunch tips for a great school lunch from a former teacher

Grocery Shop with Kids: Don’t do all the lunch planning yourself, get your kids involved in the action. Have them go to the store with you. If they have picked it out then you can help hold them accountable and they will know what exactly they are having.

Have kids Help Make the Lunch: My oldest is going into 3rd grade this year and she can fully help make her school lunches now. I will be there to assist but I think she needs to help more this year since I will be making 3 school lunches this year.

Independent: Kids should have full independence at school during lunch. Things you send should be easily opened (for them) and easy to eat. I love the kid’s go-gurt but kids need to be able to open it. Teachers do not carry scissors around (like some might think!). Make sure you pack all needed utensils.

[bctt tweet=”School lunch tips for your kids, from a former teacher! #momlife” username=”dailymomtivity”]

Think Healthy and Lite: School lunch times can vary. Sometimes they are super early and sometimes late in the day. Lunch needs to be light but meaningful. Kids don’t need a 5 course meal! A protein, a veggie, a fruit, and carb will be great. Try and stay away from all the sugary stuff and just say no to sodas! So many kids come with sodas for lunch! Stick to water and save the soda for a special day or after school if you must.

Easy to Open/Use Lunch box: Yes, sack lunches work just fine but it’s great to have a lunch box that you can reuse and have containers to keep your items cool. Fit and Fresh has great options and my daughter was so happy about this new  insulated lunch kit with a reusable water bottle and chilled container set. I love that the containers snap together and they can be easily opened. The pattern is so adorable and fun!

Come see what we’re pinning on Pinterest for Lunch Ideas!

lunch tips

Do you have any other lunch tips to add to this?


I received the Fit and Fresh lunch kit to help facilitate my review. Opinions are all mine.

August 12, 2016
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  • Reply Tiffany

    This year we have committed to have our tween shop with us for groceries for her lunches. We are also using Pinterest and Instagram for lunch ideas!

    August 12, 2016 at 11:16 am
    • Reply Shannon

      Great idea!!

      August 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply Mrs. G.

    My kids’ favorite lunch item is chicken nuggets.

    August 12, 2016 at 2:54 pm
  • Reply Michelle Hart

    I agree with these! I’ve been a teacher, an aide and a substitute. I’ve seen A LOT of different lunch rooms and schedules. I’ve been in schools where kids have only had 8 minutes to eat and some of them spend half that time trying to open something! I’ve even seen a child bring food to school that the parents want the teachers to warm up for them! It is so important to remember the limitations of lunch time. I like the idea of getting the child involved in getting their lunch together! If they have ownership of it hopefully they won’t be throwing half of it away!

    August 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm
    • Reply Shannon

      I feel so bad when the kids lunch time is almost nothing! That means it’s almost nothing for teachers too! Warm up their food??? That is crazy!! But not surprising in this day in age I guess 😉

      August 13, 2016 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Michelle P

    My daughter LOVES hot chicken noodle soup packed in a Thermos Funtainer and my son is a fan of the classic PB sandwich meal 🙂

    August 12, 2016 at 11:57 pm
    • Reply Shannon

      Those sound great! Hope they have an awesome year!!

      August 13, 2016 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Courtney

    Love it!

    August 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    My daughter is extremely picky. We do lots of fruit, yogurt, cheese and crackers because most everything else comes home.

    August 15, 2016 at 10:47 am
    • Reply Shannon

      Whatever they like is what I send too!! No sense in wasting food!

      August 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Jeanine Jones

    Peanut butter and banana sandwiches!

    August 15, 2016 at 12:24 pm
    • Reply Shannon

      Yum!!! Sounds good to me 🙂

      August 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Larisse Espinueva

    Thanks for the awesome tips! I’ll try to do your tips once school starts in our area. 🙂 Cheers!

    October 18, 2016 at 12:18 am
  • Reply Quirky Homemaker

    Great tips! Thanks. I’m not sure how my kids get into their yogurt tubes, but they do! I know my daughter’s school has lunch aids. So, maybe they help! Hope you have a great weekend!

    October 21, 2016 at 5:51 pm
    • Reply Shannon

      Some yogurt tubes are easier to get open than others! It’s just hard when yogurt goes flying or you can get it open! I think the worst are fruit cups that have juice in them. That really gets juice everywhere!

      October 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm

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