Posted in School Lunches

School Lunches

Year on year the same resolution – ‘the kids will make their own lunches’ – but it never happens.  Until now!  I got organised and put a system in place and it’s working.  The greatest balker is of course the eldest who has been getting away without making his school lunch for 12 years now so I’m getting the odd plea from his corner of ‘ah please mom will you just make mine cos I have to……’ but the answer is a simple but firm ‘no.’
Perhaps many of you have kids who already are making their own lunches and good on you, I’m glad to finally be joining the ranks.
School Lunches

School Lunches

School Lunches

School Lunches

School Lunches

School Lunches

The ‘system’ involves being well stocked in the foods that they like and providing plenty of choices.  I’ll get up in the morning, give the kids a shout and then head to the kitchen to plonk the lunch boxes, breads, crackers, salads, dressings etc. all out on the worktop.  It then takes them max 5 minutes to put together their lunch whereasI’ve been wasting 30 precious minutes every morning for the past number of years making the 6 of them. (Let me not count the hours, weeks, days that adds up to!)
A few tips:

  • If cooking a roast for Sunday dinner throw on an extra joint for school lunches.
  • If dinner involves chicken breasts throw on an extra one or two to reserve for sandwiches.
  • Use left-over potatoes to make quick & easy potato salad – mash in chopped spring onion & plenty of mayo.
  • Keep left-over cooked pasta and stir through some pesto.
  • Make up a large bowl of salady bits e.g. lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion but do not mix them together so they can easily pick out their favourites.  Keep covered with cling-film in the fridge.
  • Offer a selection of breads e.g. pittas, panini, bagels, wraps to avoid lunch-boredom
  • Offer relishes, pestos etc to up the taste

For lots more tips see School Lunches – The Definitive Guide and for a table of ideas download School Lunches Table.

I would love to hear how you tackle school lunch making.
Til next time, Sheila.


Irish food & travel blogger & mother to six children, author of 'Gimme the Recipe' published by Mercier Press in 2012 and 'Enjoy' published by Mercier Press in 2016. Work in admin of our Food Safety Consultancy business - Industrial Management Systems with my husband Denis.

8 thoughts on “School Lunches

  1. Great tips, Sheila. Only 2 minutes ago did I have a conversation with Jack about him making his own lunch. I only have 3 for lunches but it takes me at least 20 minutes each morning!
    I regularly throw on a little pot of pasta in the morning and stir through some pesto and cheese. They love bringing something hot to eat, especially on a cold day. I also find this to be quicker than the sandwiches.
    Hope your crew keep up the lunch making routine! See you soon.

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