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I’ve checked off supply lists, stocked the pantry with snacks, and laced four pairs of new sneakers. It must be back to school time! This summer has sped by, and my kids are anxiously awaiting the start of another school year. Two are excited and miss their friends while the other two are already bemoaning the early wake-up time that the school year brings.
Last year, my daughter was entirely responsible for packing her snack, water bottle, and lunch. Surprisingly, she enjoyed the task and liked taking ownership for what foods that she took to school each day. Not surprisingly, I enjoyed having one less item on my to-do list. This year, the boys will take on some responsibility in their snack and food packing for school. They will start the year by being responsible for packing their water bottle and their snack. These are two items that are simple to pack; they only need to get into the routine of doing them. Once they have created that habit, we will move on to packing their lunch box.
My daughter, a traditional oldest with a true first-born mindset, had no difficulty learning to pack her lunch and to place inside appropriate foods from all the food groups. I know that my boys will not be so easy. At least one of my boys would be happy if he skipped off to school with nothing but a lunchbox full of cookies every day! Packing their lunch will be a task that I truly have to teach them, and even then they will need a reminder of what items should go into their lunch. For that reason, I’ve created this simple lunch box packing list, and I’m sharing the free printable here today.
The list includes four categories:
- A main meal/protein – This will be items such as a sandwich, chicken kabobs, turkey roll-ups, etc.
- A fruit – My kids like all kinds of fruit, so I do not expect that we will have an issue with this category.
- A snack – This may be a variety of items from cheese and pretzels to vegetable slices.
- A drink – Last year, my boys were only allowed to pack water for lunch. They are excited to take to pack other beverages this year, like Hershey’s® 2% Chocolate Milk. Hershey’s® offers a convenient, ready to drink 12 pack of shelf stable chocolate milk, readily available for purchase at Publix. Made with Hershey’s® cocoa and grade A 2% Reduced Fat rBST Free Milk, we refrigerate it the evening before and then pack it the next morning. I like that the recloseable caps on each individual carton need no straws. The screw cap function is much easier for kids of all ages to handle without begging a teacher for help!
The design of the printable is deliberate. I listed the four main item groups that I expect my kids to pack in their lunch each day. I did not list any specific foods under each category. This is for two reasons. My boys take list very literally at this age, and if I had listed a certain food on the packing checklist and then not had it available in the refrigerator, it would cause a great amount of discussion (“But, Mom, it says strawberries on the list. Why aren’t they in the refrigerator?”). My kids already know foods that fall under each category, and this checklist will just serve as a reminder for them of what they need to pack.
Secondly, I knew that I wanted to offer this as a free printable to my readers, and I wanted you to have the ability to customize the list if desired. I left blank spaces under each category, and, once printed, users may write food choices for their children to pick under each space. For longevity, print the list on card stock and laminate.
To print, right click the image below to save it to your computer. Print it using your home printer. It is sized to be an 8.5″ by 11″. It will maintain its sharp appearance if printed at this size or smaller, but will loose clarity if printed larger.
I plan to place our list on the counter during lunch packing time, though I may choose to hang it on the inside of a cabinet door once the boys have become more comfortable with the lunch packing process.
Hershey’s® 2% Chocolate Milk 12 pack is shelf stable for up to thirteen months with ambient storage. Find it conveniently with the other shelf stable beverages on your next Publix run, and pack it for all of those school lunch, snack, and athletic field needs. From 8/11/19 to 9/7/19, save on Hershey’s® 2% Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk at Publix by loading THIS DIGITAL COUPON to your card! Please note that you must be logged in with your Publix ID to view this Hershey’s® load to card special offer.