Friday, May 23, 2008

pet peeve #49

is making lunches for the kids on school days. i hate it. if all of my kids would eat the same thing it wouldn't be so bad. one likes grilled cheese. one likes pb&j but only on turkish bread. one is allergic to peanuts. one hates sandwiches all together. one never knows what they want. one would love to have leftovers if we ever had them. i have four kids, but their tastes in chips, juice, snacks, and pretty much everything having to do with making a lunch are completely different. after several months of morning-lunch-making frustration i came up with a system that has taken away at least part of the stress of school lunches.

introducing the bucket system...

after making whatever main food item each kid desires i leave the rest up to them. they can choose one sweet snack, one salty snack, and one drink. there is also a bowl of fruit, yogurt, veggies, and various other refrigerated items if desired.

the salty bucket includes a variety of pretzels, chips, and crackers.

the sweet bucket includes snack cakes, candy bars, and cookies.

juices...apple, cherry, orange, peach, and mixed fruit.

it may not always be the most healthy lunch, but i can guarantee that the stress that the bucket system relieved would have killed me before these snacks will kill them!


Lost In Splendor said...

I love this bucket system. It's so creative and I'm sure it will give you a lot more time in the morning. :)

Thanks for stopping by my site. :)

Anonymous said...

The bucket system is a great idea, but my kids make their own lunches for school:) and have been for years!! Add one more thing to my mom of the year award list.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about marketing this brilliant system of yours?

I think stressed out housewives everywhere would flock to learn about this....

I love it! Glad you finally blogged about it!

HeyJoe said...

Great idea. As "the lunch maker" in our house I can attest to how much I hate the whole process. Thankfully the school year is almost over so I'll have a couple of months off.

LiteralDan said...

I think you should take your bucket system to the next level, and just smash everything into a big bucket, then pour them each out an equal share. If they're good, they each get a spoon.

After a few months of that, they'll beg for a regular schedule of fixed lunches for all.

Rhonda said...

YES! We have all the same issues here in our home and I did the same thing. Although, now the girls are old enough to make their own... Elijah will still ask what's in his "bin" this week?

It works for me too!

Gina said...

My son only wanted pnut butter & jelly, so that was pretty easy. My daughter, on the other hand, wouldn't eat the sandwiches and would let them rot in her locker. We would find them when they had 'open house' at the school. I used to take my lunch to school as well, and it usually consisted of a sandwich, chips a snak-pak pudding cup, and a thermos with kool-aid. I would dip my chips in the pudding. Yum-Yum!!!

Natalie said...

sparkliesunshine - i love the bucket system too! it is a great thing!

cheri - my kids are old enough to make their own lunches for sure, but they would be late everyday if i made them do it. actually erica does make hers and jacob and will could handle it i'm sure. it's anna grace. she's the most difficult! always!

charlie girl - i should market it. i could use the money!

heyjoe - yeah...i thought hate was a pretty strong word to use about making lunches, but it is honestly how i feel about it. glad to know i'm in good company!

literaldan - yeah...i've tried to just make them all the same thing. we end up with rotten sandwiches in the bottom of their backpacks and things growing in their lunch boxes. i think they were throwing away more than they were eating. i hated wasting the food! so far the bucket system has solved most of the problems i was having with it. anna grace still tells me every morning that she isn't hungry and doesn't want anything for lunch. i usually just end up deciding for her, and hopefully she eats it!

rhonda - i like that they can decide what they want for the most part. sure makes it easier!

gina - i think i bought lunch most of the time. i honestly don't remember bringing a lunch to school. in elementary school i lived in a small town and the lunches were like homemade. i remember they had the best red beans and rice, and we could go back for seconds!