Organizing Kids: Teach Your Kids to Make their Own School Lunch

Now that you can get your kids out the door in the morning, let’s make it even easier on you by enlisting your kids’ help in making their own lunches.

I have a friend who is a kindergarten teacher. Years ago, even before she transitioned back to work, she enlisted her young kids to make their lunches. When our daughters were six and eight, I decided it was time to teach them to make their own lunches.

The Goals:

Lessen my morning load
Give our kids additional responsibility as growing household members
Teach them how to feed themselves healthfully

As a family, we talked about why it was important to start taking on additional levels of responsibility in our household. The girls listened, shared their concerns, but eventually bought into it. They even got excited about brainstorming all the options that they could take to school! Momentarily they dreamed of daily Nutella sandwiches, but I brought them back to reality and reminded them that we’re striving for the same healthy lunches that mom packed for you.

To get us started, my friend shared her Lunch Ideas chartsIt’s a fairly straightforward process:

Pick a belly filler – get help heating leftovers for the Thermos if need be
Choose at least one, and ideally two growing foods – one fruit and one vegetable
Pack one to two snacks – including crunchies, chewies, and/or sweet stuff





































It’s really that simple! It took about a month for us to settle into our new routine, and I certainly help them occasionally. But overall, they drive the process. They help pick out lunch friendly foods at the grocery store, and once a week they get a break from packing when they buy school lunch. After school, they are responsible for cleaning out their lunch boxes, putting their used containers in dishwasher, and letting me know when we run out of items.

All in all, it works well. Do they still ask for Nutella sandwiches? Sure, and occasionally they take those to school as well. In general, enlisting our childrens’ help with morning lunches has moved us further along in involving the whole family in our household chores in the morning!








Header Image: © Jay Mantri

About Sarah Stockwell

Sarah has been informally helping her family and friends organize their closets and kitchens for years. A co-worker once said “Sarah’s never met a spreadsheet she didn’t love.” As a strong J on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment, Sarah feels most comfortable and at peace when her outside world is organized, decisions have been made, and her surroundings are structured. Sarah’s thrilled to have found professional organizing as a way to leverage her innate personality type. Sarah is currently being trained through the Living Peace Apprentice Program, and also lectures part-time at Tufts University in career development seminars. Sarah brings 18 years of human resources experience in the private and educational sectors where she specialized in training and development. Her expertise includes content development and facilitation of workshops in career development, leadership, coaching, communication, time management, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Sarah has lived and worked abroad in Hong Kong, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and China where she enjoyed learning about diverse cultures and ways of organizing. Sarah lives in Arlington, MA with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. She’s an active volunteer in her local community – Arlington Education Foundation board member, Parent Teacher Organization co-president, and pastor search committee co-chair. In her free time, Sarah loves exercising outdoors, doing yoga, cooking and baking for friends and family, reading the New York Times style section, and playing family board games. Sarah recently completed her first sprint triathalon.

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