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We are switching from hot lunch to cold this year and I will bookmark this post. It has a ton of useful tips, so thank you!!! And it doesn't involve pinterest and cookie cutters!


I started my son (who is now 10) on school lunches because he was so picky. I wanted him to be forced to choose something at school. The kid would live on turkey & cheddar or peanut butter & Nutella sandwiches if I let him. He's not into many (any?) vegetables or fruits.

Your process would work with my daughter (who is 7). She loves variety and would prefer bringing her lunch on most days.

I agree with you on the "cute" lunch BS. They had a segment on The View this week and I wanted to throat punch the lady.


Your post made me chuckle a little. I have two "sets" of kids - teenage boys and preschool girls. I love your ideas and do something very similar for the bigger kids, but I have been having a ball making some of the bento box lunches for my girls, and they love them. Admittedly, I do fairly easy things compared to some out there that only take a few minutes, but I enjoy doing it. It is fun for me and my way to show my love to them, it's not about making the other kids jealous or driving myself crazy. Plus, I find that it makes it easier to put together a little kid sized mix of healthy food. Anyway, just thought I would bring a different perspective - I enjoyed reading what you wrote and like your process.


We've done much the same thing for years (since mine were in Kinder) and it always amazes me how people will continue to pack lunches well into their kids' high school years. Really? I simply do not have the time or desire for that. Plus, my kids know what to pack, eat what they pack, no muss, no fuss. They pack directly after dinner, before any dessert-it is a motivator for sure.


Great post! I love the idea of putting hot water in the thermos. Will for sure try that this year!


Oh jeez louise. Pinterest has made parenting even more of a competitive sport than it already was. I think it's admirable that parents today actually send fruit and veggies instead of the processed meat on white bread and Oreos everyone had when I was in school. Why the frack do the kids need cutesy shapes or monster faces?

Thanks for writing these all out. I bring my lunch to work most days, and this has given me some great ideas.


Awesome ideas, thank you! We are ending week 1 of school and already making lunches is freaking my kids out! It's gonna be a long year! I like your idea of portioning out options- we do go through a lot more food when they are helping themselves. And when there's 6 making lunch it's already a lot of food!


Hi Carmen! Love this read! Yes, school will be starting for us soon and I am going to put your plan into motion. My girls are of the age where they can make their own lunches now so why not? Now, if I can get my husband on the same page.....(he generally makes the lunches in the morning after I have left for work and he doesn't care what the girls like, drives me bananas because they don't eat them).

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.