Why Being in a Lunch Rut Isn’t so Bad

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I have decided that we are definitely creatures of habit.  After years of stressing over a lunch menu with variety, our lunch menu has evolved into one of sameness.

And, I’m okay with that.

Just in case you’re dying of curiosity, our weekly menu is:

Monday – Lasagna for the kids, grilled chicken salad for me

Tuesday– Pizza (only one slice with a side salad for me)

Wednesday – Our beloved Chick-Fil-A

Thursday – Our one day with variety.  We usually either have sandwiches, ham roll-ups and/or Ramen noodles (for the kids – salad or leftover for me), or quesadillas with Spanish rice and refried or black beans.

Friday – Chicken nuggets and fries for the kids, turkey-avocado burger for me.

These are our favorites.  They’re easy.  And, I know what’s going on every day.  I’ve got prep time down to a science.  Making a shopping list is a cinch because I’ve got the lunch part of it memorized.

That’s why I’ve decided the lunch rut isn’t too bad.

What about you?  Do you have certain meals for certain days of the week, do you rotate from a wider variety of meals, or do you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to weekday lunches?

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13 Comments

  1. We haven't been homeschooling long so I wouldn't set this is a set routine or anything. What I have done is let the girls pick from Costco what's going to be lunches for that 2 week period. Their favorites so far are corn dogs or tuna. My lunch is whatever I feel like that day since it can change on a dime. If this stops working for us, I will definitely think of something like your plan; I like that.

  2. Although I don't have a set day for each food, we usually end up having the same lunches each week. In a typical week, we'll usually have lunchables, ravilois, pb&j, grilled cheese or turkey, and soup. I am very blessed to have kids who also love fruits and veggies, so they usually get at least 2 helpings a day of those as well. Their favorites are apples, pears, grapes, satsumas, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers. To change things up a bit and as an added treat, we'll try to eat out somewhere once a month or so.

  3. Our breakfast and lunch menu stays the same every week, so I just have to come up with dinners (although most of the those are on a three week rotation). Anything to make meal time easier. I hate staring at the fridge for something to make 🙂

  4. I would call this a routine. A rut is what we often have when it's jelly sandwiches (the kids won't eat p-nut butter), chips or crackers, and fruit everyday until I can't stand it and have to think of something else.

  5. We typically have sandwiches or leftovers from dinner the night before. Ocassionally, we'll have chicken nuggets or something else. Hubby and I typically have some sort of salad or wraps (we're trying to lose that extra weight).

  6. Interesting to see that someone plans lunch, because I never do. When I plan our weekly menu I only plan dinners, so lunch ends up being fly by the seat of my pants and/or leftovers. I always keep healthy fruit and veggie options around, so I feel like we will never starve if we don't plan anything. This might change as my kids get older and hungrier, though!!

  7. I am really impressed that you have something different every day. I have had a salad almost every day for the last 11 1/2 years! Sometimes I put tomatoes on it, sometimes beans, sometimes cucumbers or even rice…but always hot peppers and cheese and lettuce and carrots. lol. My girls eat either pb&j, Ramen noodles, chicken nuggets, canned soup or leftovers.

  8. We are on a budget and we have a 2 week breakfast/lunch rotation that has remained basically the same for a couple of years. We also have a 1 week snack roation. We've taken out some items and some cheaper/healthier alternatives.Sample meals:
    Lunch – loaded baked potates, hot dogs & chips, mac&cheese, beanie weenies, quiche (we have chickens), egg salad sandwhich, sandwhiches/wraps, english muffin pizzas Sample Breakfast-homemade pancakes, homemade waffles, eggs & toast, oatmeal, cornmeal mush, cinnamon rolls, bagel & cream cheese etc… Frankly after a few years of homeschooling I could no longer waste the mental energy it takes to stare into the fridge and figure out what I can make for lunch or breakfast! Kids can always substite leftovers if they want to but we stick to the list. This has also made grocery shopping a breeze I know exactly what we need in the house for lunch & breakfast. I also planned our dinners (we need more variety for dinner!)for the semester so I just refer to my plans and, grocery list is basically done! No thinking required until May!So it's not a rut…you are a woman with a plan!

  9. I'm impressed with the variety of foods you eat! We eat a lot of sandwiches – pb&j, hummus, and, when Mom has energy, tuna salad. I like Joanne's comment! (:

  10. Mine is "easy" in many ways. My son has many severe food allergies so he is on an elemental formula. We are starting our homeschooling journey this fall! You can check out my blog (that is still in the beginning stages) at https://ikanlern.blogspot.com

  11. Thanks for this – sometimes I feel bad that I serve my kids the same things but after reading this post and another one you linked too, I see that it's ok to feed kids what they love. I need to work on my own lunches though – I really struggle with feeding myself.

  12. Most lunches are leftovers from dinner the night before. We also make 2 boxes of pasta to have for a couple of lunches. Occasionally we'll have frozen pizza, hot dogs or sandwiches. Lunch always includes a fruit and veggie no matter what.

    Jessy

  13. You think YOU'RE in a rut? Your lunch schedule is full of variety compared to mine: sandwiches. Every day. Peanut butter, lunchmeat, or grilled cheese. In rotation or not. With a side of fruit. That's it! I have a hard enough time getting dinner on the table so I don't cook a hot lunch! 🙂

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