First, if you haven’t checked your kiddo’s backpack for long forgotten lunch boxes, then, at this time point, throw the whole backpack away. Trust me.
If you did remember to do that mid-March, then I assume you stashed those fancy bento boxes in your cabinet and have been dutifully ignoring them. I’m here to tell you that’s a mistake.
There are three huge reasons you should still be using your kid’s lunch box, even when you’re stuck at home:
Your Kids are Creatures of Habit
My kids are 100% more likely to eat my prepared lunch if it’s in their lunchbox. I don’t understand this science, and I don’t have to. But when I break out their personal boxes, they feel compelled to eat them as they normally would during lunch. This means no discussion of what’s for lunch or if they can have something else instead. I don’t create or question the magic, I just use it to my advantage.
WATCH: Mom vs. School Lunches In 15 Minutes
You Get a Break
I prep their lunchboxes the night before. “But the world is ending,” you wail. “The only good thing about this was not packing the forsaken lunches.” Hear me out. If you pack the lunches at night, then instead of slicing, chopping, dumping, portioning, and serving during lunch, you can simply eat. By yourself. Anywhere. Pretend you have a conference call. With Santa. And Mickey. A little prep buys you a few minutes of silence. I don’t know if you’ve visited school lunch lately. The kids don’t eat with their teachers; the teachers sit at their own private table. Do your best to adhere to school standards, for the benefit of the children.
Clean-Up Is a Breeze
We are very low-key at lunch, and somehow there’s still less clean up after a lunchbox meal than a regular one. For one, I never send or use utensils, so everything is finger friendly. And while the lunchboxes are bulky in the dishwasher, they’re nothing compared to the onslaught of plates and tiny bowls my machine has been bombarded with daily for the past five weeks. I’m running the dishwasher at least once a day, and I realize I’m fortunate to be able to complain about having one.
Do yourself a solid. Pack the lunch at night with a glass of wine then take your own lunch on the porch for 30 minutes while your kids enjoy their break.
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