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One of the biggest things I notice in the summer is the mess that lunchtime can create. In an effort to keep the mess to a minimum and encourage independence in the kitchen (without going crazy), I’ve been looking for ways to keep the mid-day meal really easy. How about a simple summer lunch? Yes, please!
This week is all about Cleaning with Kids – I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on the blog and on Instagram for making the most of the next couple months. I hope you’ll join me!
Breaking it all the way down, I looked at what created the mess and simplified that process. Of course, it’s preparing the meal, dirty dishes, dishes, leftovers, and messy counters.
My favorite summer lunch for the kids is in the spirit of a charcuterie board with a kid twist. Sometimes I’ll do leftovers on the board, sandwiches cut up into strips or triangles, and other times it’s just a broad mix of food that they want placed on a board. It’s simple, low mess, easy clean up and the novelty never really wears off.
Here’s what I do:
- To keep it really low-mess and simple I’ll put a piece of parchment paper on the board and place the food on the board. I’m using our charcuterie board here, but any large plate or cutting board will do.
- Place portions on the board – keep the foods separate for picky eaters and for ease of grabbing the foods.
- I use glasses for veggies and if there are any leftovers I just put the
- m in the fridge for an afternoon snack.
- Put out a variety of foods – protein – cheese, eggs, meat; fruits and veggies; crackers, sandwiches; something sweet – dried fruit, chocolate chips, granola, etc.
- Put out plates or just let everyone eat with napkins. Keep it simple!
Have younger kids? Use a muffin tin or divided lunch tray and put the foods in the muffin tin or tray.
What have you found that works? What are your favorite summer lunches for kids? How about for your lunches? Another time saver for me is to have my lunches planned out or pre-made.
I do a big garden salad and will typically give the kids the veggies from my salad on their lunch plates. Decisions take time and brain space – I like having this decision already made for me!
See all the posts in this mini-series:
The Responsible Kids Kit is on sale this week if you’d like to use it as a resource for your kids – it’s complete with checklists, responsibility ideas, how to clean your room, how to follow the Clean Mama Routine, and so much more!