Lunch Made Easy & Free Printable Lunchbox Notes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrahamSlam #WelchsPBJ #CollectiveBias

There are many common threads that unite moms. An endless love for our children, the ability to function off shockingly low amounts of sleep, and a dislike for packing lunches. I don’t think it matters if you home school, public school, or are planning a picnic adventure, packing lunches can be a lot of work. Over the years I have heard countless moms wish for an easier solution. Today I want to share how lunch time has been transformed in our home with simple tips, tricks, and ideas to help you find lunch freedom!

Does packing lunches get you down? Here are tips and tricks to find lunch freedom! 
The biggest problem in our home wasn’t an inability to make or pack their own lunches, They simply didn’t know what was okay for them to eat. This being unclear led to many, MANY questions. I usually had to start listing approved things to give ideas. Or, I had to go to the pantry and locate the items for them because they couldn’t find them. 

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#Tip 1 Designate zones for approved lunch items. 

The solution was to purchase some simple storage containers. One basket has chips and crackers, another has granola bars, fruit snacks, apple sauce. And in the fridge I keep an area of bottled water, juice pouches, bags of carrots, yogurt, and cheese sticks.  Whatever your kids love, keep on hand, easily accessible, and in portions they can quickly grab.

The next problem we had was sandwiches. Not only can sandwiches be tricky for kids to make, they can be time-consuming and messy too.

pick-me

Tip #2 Keep Welch’s Graham Slam! on hand.

In a house where PB & J reign supreme, Welch’s Graham Slam! have been a lifesaver and an exciting spin on a new approach to our favorite. They have 7 grams of protein, no high fructose corn syrup, and 12 grams of whole grain. Making them a treat that the girls love and I approve. They also go beyond lunch time Welch’s Graham Slam! are perfect for a mid morning snack, an afternoon pick up, or a bed time treat.

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Welch’s Graham Slam! Can be found in the frozen section, right next to other PB&J items, at your local Walmart and can be enjoyed frozen or thawed.

You can even print a $1 off coupon here!
This coupon is for $1.00 off (1) Box of Welch’s Graham Slam. Expires 12/31/16 or while supplies last.Customers have 2 weeks from the day they print to redeem it.

Lunch freedom with @Welchs #GrahamSlam Grab your $1 off #coupon. #ad #WelchsPBJ @Walmart Click To Tweet
After we had tackled the issue of what we could eat and keeping the perfect treats on hand we had one last obstacle to overcome, what goes into a lunch? After all packing and entire box of fruit snacks is something that I wouldn’t put past my girls. 

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Tip #3 Label items clearly to create structure and still give options.

The perfect solution for us was index cards and tape. I simply created a lunch menu that left options. Each container is labeled with exactly what they are allowed to pick from it. This gives me peace of mind that even though I’m not the one making their lunch, they are still making good choices.

pack-lunch 

Our new system has been an answer to prayer y’all. Everyone is happier in our home and the benefits of setting up a simple system took less than a week to pay off. The girls feel more independent and excited to make their lunch because they have confidence knowing what to do. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.

emily-graham-slam

They are also loving their lunch choices. It didn’t take very long for Welch’s Graham Slam! to become a household favorite.

Free printable lunch box notes

Grab your #free #printable lunchbox notes. The perfect way to make your kids smile #lunch Click To Tweet

I was so excited about my new-found freedom that I created these printable lunch notes! They are perfect to sneak into the girls lunch boxes on the days we head out. I also love leaving them in books or around the house for them to find.

Grab your free printable copy here!

welchs-lunchbox-notes

So now if you ask me about lunch time, you’ll see nothing but a smile. A smile that you too can have. 

Do your kids pack their own lunches?

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  • Jessica

    Great system! I’ve just started packing a lunch for Cam on Wednesdays and it’ll be nice when we can pack it himself. He does tell me exactly what he wants. I love the printable. So cute! I’m stealing. 🙂

    • Steal away friend. That printable was so tricky to make. I hope it gets used and enjoyed!

  • I’m jealous that the kids pack their own lunches. We have a ways to go for that here! Cute printables!

  • Lizzie Simantz

    We are not there yet with packing their own lunches but I love these tips so much, maybe we could be, at least for Brayden. I love putting optins in boxes and telling them to pick. And I’ve never heard of those sandwiches but they look yummy!

    • Anything that you can do to make things easier for mama is totally worth it. Just the other day I let Emily pour her own cereal and it was amazing. #itsthelittlethings.

  • Meghan Flinn

    Packing lunches is what I’m worried most about once Noah starts real school. I love your system, the lunch notes you made, and those sandwiches look great!

    • Thanks Meghan. Those lunch notes were so tricky! I hope people love them and use them.

  • Great system! Henry does a pretty good job packing his lunch when he has to, but usually it’s because we do some sort of lunchable which has a lot of the items already in it.

    • Those can be super convenient to just have them grab.

  • Those sound amazing! Jacob won’t touch PB&J with a ten foot pole (so crazy, I know) but that is Olivia’s very favorite thing. I need to keep some of these on hand because it sure beats having to make our own!

    • So true! Jacob sounds so much like Emily. When she decides she doesn’t want something, She DOESN’T want it.

  • Great tips!! I will probably do something similar when the girls start school. Those cards are adorable too!

    • Thanks Danielle. They were super trick to make but turned out so cute!

  • Well this is brilliant! Why have I not implemented the zone idea in my own life? Thanks for the inspiration my friend!

    • You could TOTALLY benefit from this whole zone thing. I hope you get something set up and have one less thing to do or micro-manage.

  • I wish I could send peanut butter to school with my kids.. that was my go-to growing up!

    • It never even crossed my mind that some schools would request parents not to send it. I’m assuming that’s what you mean. I would be up a creek with my “vegetarian” daughter if we couldn’t.

  • Too cute! I definitely hate packing lunches but our lunch packing station helps so much!

    • It even helps to make snack time easier too!

  • Great system! And LOVE the lunchbox notes! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • chall1018

    Well, since Mason is a weird child and doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly he’s out on these. But me? Totally in and have to try these. Love the lunchbox notes. It’s one of my favorite things to do for Mason!

    • Lol! I think I may love them more than the girls :P. I worked so hard on those lunchbox notes. Print them out and use them friend!

  • BETH! I just about DIED when I read the part about hating making lunches- Y-E-S!!! Why is that meal such a heartache?! Love your tips and the printables will be coming in handy 🙂

    • OH my word, YES!!! I can’t stand it. Almost to the point that it makes me feel bad. I hope the tips help and totally print the notes out. I worked SO hard on them.

  • I love the idea of the “pick 1” signs. Rarely do I ever get to pack my kids lunches anymore…I am happy they love doing it themselves but I do miss adding a surprise note here and there. I need to remember to keep some in the car for when I actually drop them special lunches here and there

    • Oh that sounds wonderful! I have been fixing lunch and breakfast less and less for my girls and I’m not gonna lie. It’s amazing. Life changing really.

  • Pankti

    I am not able to download lunchbox notes. I found it via pintrest but not able to get the PDF. I loved the notes as they are not wordy(my toddler is not even 3).

    • I got it fixed! Thanks for letting me know there was a problem.