Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Keeping It Simple: Lunch

 If I've learned anything in almost 11 years of mothering and 6 of homeschooling it's that simplicity is key. If something is just not working for me or our family, then something has to change. On the other hand, if something IS working then I stick with it. Don't fix it if it ain't broke people.

Over the last year or so I've been much better at creating supper menus for a couple weeks at a time. This served me well when it came to the daily 'what's for supper?' routine. I would make my menu, jot down my grocery list and stock the cupboards as needed. Taking the time for this seemingly small task from start to finish has really saved me time (and money) in the long run every few weeks.

The thing I've struggled with off and on is lunch and snack time. I seemed to find myself on the cusp of each of these daily events without a clue as to what I was serving. When summer neared its end, I knew I had to figure out a new way.

I sat down with the plan to write a month worth of lunch menu ideas and I did it! I started with our favorite choices, scoured Pinterest a bit and created a simple calendar in Word. It has changed my days immensely. It's like "real" school where the menu is there for the student to look at and no need to ask what we're eating. It also assists a kitchen helper to know what to get ready/how to help mom as well. Depending on what's on hand, I'll add fruit, veggies or other items to go with the main item that's on the menu. (click the picture to see it in more detail)

So far, I really like it. After creating the menu calendar (you'll notice I have a couple 'free' days yet to add any new favorites), I then made up a two week grocery list. List #1 is for weeks 1 and 2 and List #2 is for weeks 3 and 4. I did this in the event I don't do monthly shopping for lunch, but want to be ready to go every two weeks. I can just print up the list, check the cupboards and head to the store.

Here are a few links if you are looking at my menu wondering what they are:

PB Banana Granola Wraps

Pancake Bites

These are mine, which I just use my favorite pancake recipe for the batter and then add the fillers.

Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Ham And Cheese Pockets

Now, if only I could come up with more snack options as it seems my kids are always hungry lately and desiring food intake. 

Tell me, what kinds of things do you serve or make for snack time at your house? 
I'd appreciate some inspiration.


  1. I love this Sarah...I know exactly what you mean about snack and lunch. And this is indeed a lifesaver! Nice work...

    Peyton helps me make a lunch menu, although it is no where near as awesome looking as yours...and we base it on our dinners. That way, we use up leftovers. Working pretty well so far. Except for Steve not getting to take anything to work for his lunch anymore! : )

    Snacks? You know what my kids loved last week? I put some graham crackers, chocolate bar pieces, and marshmallow cream on a plate for make your own s'mores. They loved it!

    Also, chips and salsa, fruit and crackers, and peanut butter with apple and banana were a big hit.

    I will be checking back to get more ideas!

    Happy Tuesday, friend!

  2. Our school kids get peanut butter sandwich or a yogurt with pb crackers. That plus a fruit and a "treat" and water. Every school day.

    On weekends we will do more warm lunches like pasta or brunch foods.

    Snacks are not given before dinner, but after dinner they get a cup of milk and some animal crackers or a muffin or whatever we have before bed.

    Not very exciting! Oh my sil makes yogurt in a crockpot for her brood, she says its yummy and cheap.

  3. Oh, gosh, this is super! This has been my goal to plan lunches for school days, but it has not happened yet. I have a master list in my head, you know: Noodle cups, butter noodles, noodles w/meatballs, bagels w/cream cheese, and pizza on Wednesdays, always pizza on Wednesdays...Wednesdays I don't have to think...of course it's frozen pizza. (I save homemade for a supper meal--not Wednesdays though:)

    Snacks, well, my kids are bigger and some of them are starving and some of them are not even hungry til 1/2 hour before lunch, you know what I say to them, right? (you have to wait for lunch) I always have on hand pretzels, animal crackers, cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit cups, fresh fruit, veggies (pea pods, carrot sticks, cut up zucchini, cauliflour)....you name it any kind of crackers...snacks are simple and quick and just a handful.

    I just have these things on hand and do not plan to plan my snacks with the kids, that is too much planning for me, simple and quick. Just enough to keep that edge off.

    All last year and the year before I did the "Muffin Mondays", Toast Tuesdays (Toaster strudels or any kind of toast) whatever Wednesdays, Eggs/pancakes Thursdays and French toast Fridays...but the kids got tired of it and I just do not have time before school. So breakfasts are simple, yogurt, cereal, toast, granola bars and granola....and Kefir!! We love Kefir!

    I really need to figure out our lunches too, thanks for the inspiration...Especially now that school has been going on for a couple weeks....

  4. I LOVE this idea...a lot! And I like the suggestions you are receiving as well.

  5. Thanks for the new ideas. I am always looking for recipes. The same stuff over and over gets old. However, I will never ever let go of Taco Tues!

  6. How are you doing? I'm missing you....

  7. I hope you're doing well, Sarah! You're in my thoughts and prayers.


You're so kind for dropping me a line!

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