Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Make Lunches Without Driving Your Momma Crazy

Sometimes, we parents get so wrapped up in packing lunches that we forget we have an audience we're packing for.

We're like grouchy line cooks working in fifty-year-old diners. Possibly our name is "Sam" or "Joe". We wear baggy pants and stained aprons, and if someone sends back overcooked bacon we just growl in derision and mutter "guess you weren't all that hungry, were you?"

Recently, one of our readers experimented with having her two boys, aged 9 and 7, pack their own lunches. Friends, not only did they do it, they took the task very seriously and with minimal supervision did the job.

The seven year old, "Mr M", agreeably also wrote us a blog post with his thoughts about packing lunches. Thanks to his mom Lyn for acting as a human dictaphone. The following guest post is reproduced as submitted and is Mr M's own words.

Thanks to both Mr M and Lyn!


By Mr. M

You should ask your mom before making the lunches and if you’re on a field trip, you should pack a big lunch like 5 things. And if it is a normal lunch you should do like 4 things.

And if your child doesn’t eat all the food for 5 days you should never give them like a dessert like candy or anything that’s like a treat.

Today I made lunch for my brother and I, it was very nice actually, I did three things for me because I don’t eat as much as my brother and my brother got 4 things because he eats more.

And because I ate all my lunch yesterday I get a wagon wheel which is filled with chocolate on the outside, and they taste so good.

How I made the lunch is first I putted in a sandwich which is peanut butter and jam or you could do jelly and then I put in carrots sticks you can get them from Sobey’s, and then for my brother I put in yogurt. And apple slices from Sobey’s that my mom got on sale.

How I put in the yogurt is I got a grown up spoon I holded the bottle sideways and I pulled out the yogurt into a ziplock plastic container.

And what I give for drinks is water in water bottles.

I also have some lunch ideas.

and then a peanut butter sandwich
a cookie
a bearpaw

These are not all for one meal.


Brilliant, right? Simple. To the point. Also, inspiring. My kids don't know it yet, but next week they are getting enlisted.


  1. My son, Mr O, is 9 and he gets 4 things in his lunch. A sandwich (but not peanut butter and jam because his school is nut free - which is a bummer, because that's a yummy sandwich) with meat and lots of lettuce just the way he likes it, a banana, yogurt and a cookie for dessert.
    Thanks for your great ideas Mr M.

  2. I need to get my 7yo on this. I wish peanut allergies weren't such a serious issues, because that is one sandwich he can make like a boss. Nice job, Mr. M!

  3. I love the idea of rewarding eating the whole lunch with candies in later lunches!

  4. "These are not all for one meal."

    So cute.

    I wholeheartedly agree with having the kids at least contribute to their lunches. I find that they are more likely to consume things they choose and it eases my load. My kids pack most of the stuff in their lunches, because they are older now. The other day I pointed out that *some* of their friends have been packing their own lunches for years. They then pointed out that those kids tended to pack a lot of crap in their lunches -- imagine a lunch bag with only popcorn and cookies. So I subscribe to getting kids to help at first, so they can learn to make appropriate choices. Eventually, their lunch becomes their responsibility.

    And then we all retire from this blog. :)

    1. The lunches packed by my kids are done about half the time. And ALWAYS checked by me. In fact, "are you kidding me" was used 2 days ago when I saw what the 9yo had packed. Because it made cookies and popcorn look balanced and nutritious.
      And then he re-packed it because we have spent A GREAT DEAL of time on nutrition and balance over the years.

  5. This is one of the best posts written about lunch ever. Good job Mr M. I like his suggestion of four things for a lunch, except if there is a field trip. Extra nutrition on a field trip is so important! Also, eat all the healthy food or no treats or dessert - good advice. We should all heed that advice! I hope Mr M posts again sometime!

  6. What I like about this lunch is that it's so basic. Sometimes we can tie ourselves up in knots, trying to keep it interesting and not be too repetitive ... and what does it turn out kids like Mr M really want? A sandwich. Fruit. Carrot sticks. And, if they eat the healthy stuff, a wagon wheel. Yum!

    Also. Well done, Mr M!

  7. This post rocks! Also, this lunch-maker. I wish he would school my kids, who DON'T EAT SANDWICHES. I may very well start withholding Bear Paws in retaliation. Other than the peanut butter sandwich, this is very much what my kids' lunches look like. And you're right, it DOES sound like they could do it themselves. Hmmmmm......

  8. Good job, Mr. M! But I have to ask: what are wagon wheels??

    1. wagon wheels are a large marshmallow sitting on a graham base covered in chocolate. They are a rare and coveted treat in our house.

    2. Oh! Do you make these yourself or are they a thing available for purchase where you are? They sound delicious!

    3. Behold: Wagon Wheels. You poor benighted Americans can't get them unless you smuggle them across the border with your Kinder Eggs. ;)