Textbooks, pencils, paper: Your kid’s book bag is almost packed, but it’s missing one key item: a healthy lunch. Your Calendar can help you serve up school lunch with ease.
Keeping everyone fed is hard work. Thankfully, your online calendar is an ideal tool for planning meals, including school lunch. It is really nice to plan a school lunch for home-schooling lunches, as well.
What does it take to stay on top of school lunch? These eight steps:
1. Map it Out.
Online calendars make it easy to stay on top of the week’s meals. Preparing a variety of foods ensures your kids get the nutrients they need while preventing burnout by repetition.
Map out your school lunches to make sure you hit every good group. With meal planning, you can keep a solid balance of proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables in your kid’s lunchbox. Use calendar notifications to remind you to make a new meal plan each Sunday.
2. Plan Your Shopping Trip.
You can plan meals all day, but you can’t create them without the proper ingredients. A calendar app is a great ally when it comes to putting together a shopping list.
The Notes section of your calendar can help you remember all the items you need to grab at the grocery store. You can also use it to note foods that you’re out of, which makes it easier to restock when your inventory runs low.
3. Prepare for Leftovers.
Leftovers make ideal school lunches. Whether you prepare a week’s worth of food in advance, or some of last night’s dinner simply went uneaten, toss it in your kid’s lunchbox.
Remember, too, that your kids might bring home leftovers from school. Don’t expect them to eat every bite every day. They’ll be hungrier some days than others, particularly if they have access to healthy snacks.
When you know you’ll have leftovers from a certain meal, update events in your calendar to indicate that. That way, food never goes to waste.
4. Move Past the Picky-Eater Stage.
Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Left unchecked, they’ll eat only what they want and leave the rest on the plate.
Show them just how delicious new foods can be. Each week, plan a day in your calendar when you’ll get your kids to try new food. Start with an exotic fruit before graduating to ethnic foods.
Go ahead and add those new foods to their school lunches. They may be more willing to try things at the cafeteria table when parents aren’t around. Eventually, they’ll learn that a lot of unfamiliar foods are worth eating.
5. Keep it Clean.
When you rely on packed lunches, you might want to opt for a reusable lunch box that your kids can take to school each day. This cuts down on the cost and waste of paper bags and keeps food safe when stored in a jostling backpack.
Set a weekly reminder in your online calendar to clean out your kids’ lunchboxes. Fridays are best, as things start to smell when they’re left to sit over the weekend. Come Monday, you’ll be glad you tackled the mess before things started to grow in it.
6. Watch What the School is Serving.
Most schools in America provide all enrolled students access to lunch. Schools post their lunch schedule weeks or months in advance so students and parents can see what’s on the menu.
You may decide that you’re OK with your son or daughter eating school lunch some days and not others. You might not be keen on them getting more pizza in their diet, for example, but you’d be happy to have them eat what the school serves on salad day.
Add the school’s lunch schedule to your own online calendar. That way, you can make informed decisions about what your kid is eating from the school’s cafeteria.
7. Remind Them to Hydrate.
Adults aren’t the only ones who need to watch their water intake. Especially on hot days, it’s critical that kids stay hydrated to keep their bodies strong and mind active.
Remembering to drink water is easier said than done. If your kids struggle to stay on top of their water consumption, add recurring reminders for them in your family calendar. That way, it’s as easy as taking a sip at the sound.
8. Plan a Lunch Date.
Just like you, your kids deserve the occasional lunch treat. Once a month or quarter, arrange to pick them up from school for a lunch date somewhere in town. Not only can it help you connect, but it gives them a break from the regular school routine.
Making sure your kids are eating right is no easy task. Give yourself — and them — a hand using your online calendar. Put the perfect school lunch schedule together, and watch them grow.