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Free Printable School Lunch Planner

Image of a paper with a lunch container with the title "Free printable school lunch planner"

Planning school lunches for your kids can be a pain.

I’m just now realizing this. Allison’s in Kindergarten- my only child- and wow, it’s hard to come up with lots of different ideas. Especially since she’s told me she doesn’t like eating the same thing every day for a week.

For the first week or two, I just bought everything I could think of and randomly put them together. Then I realized how much it cost me and knew there had to be a better way.

Image of a filled school lunch container

I started thinking about what I needed to make things easier, and that’s how I created this School Lunch Planner! After using it for awhile, I can tell you it’s a life-changer. I can easily see what I have in the house and how to mix-and-match foods so Allison doesn’t get bored.

Here’s how to use this free School Lunch Planner. Scroll to the bottom to download this PLUS a list of lunch box foods!

Image of a pantry cupboard full of snacks

Take inventory of your kitchen

First, you want to see what kinds of foods you have at home before you start shopping. When I did this the first time, I realized I had more grains and treats than would fit in the boxes. I guess you can see what my girl likes best.

But that gives you an idea of what you need to buy more of. If you already have 5-6 types of grains, you can skip buying those and focus on protein and veggies. Plus you’ll save money by not buying things you don’t need that week.

Image of a paper with a list of school lunch ideas

Fill in the boxes and go shopping

Once you’ve seen what you have, fill in the rest with what you’d like to buy. As you can see, Allison’s pretty limited on the fruits and veggies she’ll eat (Pretty much nothing but strawberries), but I like to include at least a couple so she has something new to try every day.

Add those items to your grocery list and do your shopping for the week.

Image of a paper with a list of school lunch ideas

Mix-and-match foods for the week

Now that you have your foods, you can use the right side of the page to plan your kids’ lunches! Just take 1-2 items from each box and add them to each day. Some of your foods may overlap on a couple days, but that’s okay. Allison doesn’t mind because she feels like she’s getting something different every day.

Image of a filled school lunch container

I’ve been using a Yumbox lunch container this year and totally love it! Allison complained that she had trouble opening her other container so I got her this one. It has a small clip in front that she can just snap open and she’s said it’s so much easier.

The divided sections are perfect for the little snack-like items, and that’s exactly how Allison likes her lunch. The foods don’t touch so nothing gets soggy or covered in yogurt. The Yumbox is a little pricey at around $30.00, but I think it’s so worth it. I can see this lasting a few years.

Download the School Lunch Planner!

Are you ready to be more organized with your kids’ school lunches? Just click the image below to download your free School Lunch Planner! Underneath that is a list of school lunch ideas you can either print or Pin for later. I hope this helps you this school year!

Image of a school lunch planner

Click here to download your School Lunch Planner!

Image of a list of school lunch ideas

Click here to download your lunch box packing cheat sheet!


Thursday 29th of April 2021

Hi there! I just stumbled across your youtube video and from there, got here. I have a virtual Kindergartener right now. He will begin 1st grade in August. He is very picky and although I'd rather NOT pack milk in his lunch, he does enjoy milk at his meals. So I don't want to deprive him of his milk, just because I want to simplify things for myself. Besides, as a picky water, I feel he needs that milk. In any case, do you pack milk for your daughter? If so, what do you use so that it stays cold and safe to drink? I have a thermos funtainer and while great for water, I'm concerned it will leak.. Obviously ice packs help too. I have also purchased the boxed Horizon milk boxes but they still need to stay chilled for better taste and it can get expensive. What do you do?


Saturday 1st of May 2021

Hey there!! Honestly, I get the little boxes of milk from Costco. It's more expensive, but buying in bulk like that is cheaper than buying the little 6-packs at the regular store.

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