I find that planning a weekday meal schedule helps my kids stay on track with fewer morning fights about breakfast. It also keeps me from packing the same thing every single day for their lunches. Maybe you’ll find these free PDF downloads useful too! Enjoy.
School Week Meal Chart Downloads:
- Illustrated Breakfast and Lunch Meal Chart PDF (decorative art version)
- Coloring Breakfast and Lunch Meal Chart PDF (with outlines for kids to color)
Tips for the Chart:
Alliteration helps my kids getting excited, such as “Waffle Wednesday” and “Toast Tuesday.” It helps them remember and know what to expect each morning of the school week, and I keep it consistent week to week, so the chart almost never changes.
- Make-Your-Own Monday (Cereal or Leftovers or Waffles)
- Toast Tuesday + Eggs (multi-grain toast to keep it healthy, plus trying to get an egg in the meal for added protein)
- Waffle Wednesday (multi-grain waffles with applesauce or syrup on top)
- Oatmeal Thursday (if you can come up with a good breakfast that is an alliteration for Thursday, let me know!)
- Fun-Cereal Friday + Chicken Bites (cinnamon squares cereal is a kid fave as a Friday treat at my house, and the chicken bites get them some extra protein)
Here are some of the breakfasts that my kids have before school, plus what we’re starting with on our chart this year.
School Breakfast Ideas:
No Cooking or In-the-Toaster Options:
- Toast with jam (my kids love Dave’s Killer Bread or the Safeway O Organics bread)
- Waffles with syrup or applesauce on top (the Trader Joe’s multi-grain waffles from the frozen section are a kid favorite at my house, and so easy to just pop in the toaster oven!)
- Cereal (I love the various cereals at Trader Joe’s especially, they tend to have less sugar per serving, but are still sweet/tasty enough that the kids love them)
- Instant Oatmeal Packets
- Chicken nuggets with ketchup (my kids love the dinosaur chicken nuggets I get in a big box at Costco and I love that they have no artificial flavors/colors and have moderately okay ingredients)
- Chicken sausage or turkey bacon
- Banana or other fruit
- Fried or scrambled eggs
- From-scratch oatmeal
Do you have any fun and healthy breakfast ideas that work well for your kids? Or a suggestion for a good-sounding match for Thursday? I suppose maybe Thirsty Thursday with smoothies might be good, but I don’t think I can bring myself to get out the blender as part of our regular school morning routine… 🙂
School Lunch Meal Ideas:
- Main Item: Jelly Sandwich OR Meat/Lettuce/Tomato Sandwich OR hard boiled eggs OR a pile of sushi rice with a filling of some kind for a make-your-own rice balls lunch kit (or Peanut Butter and Jelly if your school allows nuts, or cheese/lettuce/tomato if vegetarian)
- Yogurt Drink (those new yogurt drinks like the Chobani ones and Trader Joe’s I’ve been seeing in stores this year seem reasonably low on added sugar and like a great way to get kids to have some calcium and probiotics)
- Carb Snack: Crackers OR tortilla chips OR goldfish OR rice crackers OR pita bread wedges
- Veggie Snack: Cucumber slices OR carrots OR jicama sticks OR dried seaweed packet OR cherry tomatoes OR hummus (goes well as a dip with the pita bread) OR snap peas
- Fruit Snack: Banana OR apple OR plum/apricot type fruit OR berries
- Treat Snack: Gummy fruit snacks packet OR cookie
For me, the most useful part of the lunch chart is to remind myself of the different options and try REALLY hard to not pack the same thing for too many days in a row – otherwise my kids get sick of certain things and won’t eat them anymore. Good luck with your school lunches!
Note: The PDF charts in this post are free for you to download and use. They are copyrighted by Kristin @ThePlumGrove and for personal use only. Thanks!