Works for Me Wednesday: Divided Lunch Trays

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I’m pretty sure that I’ve posted about the kids’ lunch trays before, but it’s been a long time.  It may have even been back in the dark ages, before I moved to Blogger.  However, I’m sure I’ve never posted about them for Works for Me Wednesday.

Never heard me mention our lunch trays?  Well, you know the little divided trays that you used to eat off of if you went to public school?  We have those.  Except they’re pretty colors.  We got them at Target a few years ago.  Because I’m weird like that.  And, because I don’t want my kids missing any of those all-important rites of passage — like eating off of divided lunch trays — that happen in public school.  Okay, that might not be it.

I could also have gotten them because the kids like to eat in rooms besides the kitchen for lunch and the trays make it easier for them to carry their food, drink, and silverware.  Possibly.  It’s probably the weird thing, though.

Whatever the reason, the trays are perfect for transporting food to rooms other than the kitchen and the fact that they have the little divided sections, coupled with the fact that I’m a little OCD, encourages me to try to have more balanced lunches.  Because, you know, all the little divided parts should be filled up.  So, where before a kid might have gotten a sandwich and some chips on a plate, now they might get a sandwich, some chips, some carrot sticks and some grapes.  Or, you know, a sandwich, chips, dip and a Little Debbie.  Or an entire sleeve of Club crackers.  (She didn’t eat the entire sleeve, btw.)

lunch trays

Being honest is hard sometimes.

Whatever is on the trays, though, the kids love them. They love when all the little dividers have something in them.  And, I love that each kid has certain color trays, so everybody knows whose is whose and I know who didn’t carry their dirty dishes back up to the kitchen…because we didn’t buy our little friend, Not Me his own color-coded tray.

Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

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  1. I love these trays too! It definitely helps me to remember a square for fruits, a square for veggies, etc. Our Walmart sells these every summer with their summer plastic cups and plates.

  2. Yes, honesty is hard. But it's funny, too! We use the divided trays because my kid can't stand her food to touch, but your reasoning makes sense, too. TFS!

  3. I don't know if you remember me mentioning this before, but we do the same thing. We have three different colors too. 😉 And I agree, it helps me to remember to feed them a variety of foods.

  4. I have those exact same trays! Plus… the rounded version as well, because sometimes, it's really hard filling up so many compartments (round ones only have 3). Love them!

  5. Blaze is just 2 but i use divided plates for just that reason. To make sure i am giving him more of a variety because i can't just put the same thing in more than one spot so I change it up.

  6. I have not seen these at Target (yet) but I am definitely going to start looking. My girls still use the little plates we got in the set with the matching bowl and spoon – but as they grow, they're going to need more. I use the divided sections for each part of the meal, too, so this will just be a natural progression for us. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love divided trays! That Not Me kid gets around doesn't he? He visited us yesterday evening and left towels on the floor outside the bathroom.

  8. We have these too – although we tend to use them more in the summer. The kids WOULD love it if I pulled them out more often. 🙂

  9. That's so funny that you mention them not wanting to miss the experience of P.S. kids. When my oldest entered middle school, she thought she really was going to miss going to P.S. because she wanted a locker! I think sometimes the "trappings" of going to be P.S. are appealing to them – until I remind her that the bus comes at 6:55 a.m.

  10. I'm glad it's not just me who loves those trays. Well, me and my kids. Oh, and, Michelle, reminding my kids about what time the bus runs in the morning (and how late it comes back in the afternoons) is usually enough of a reminder when my kids start missing anything public schoolish (very rarely) or complaining about their work at home (more often).

  11. You have a Not Me friend too? We had one of those growing up. My dad was always confused because Not Me seemed to be at our house all the time but my dad had never met him.
    I have a feeling we will have a Not Me friend when my kids get a little older.
    I have smaller divided trays with only three spots. I'd like to get larger ones like what you have though.

  12. Good idea! I've been enjoying your blog. We just began homeschooling our twins this year, and have found lots of helpful things here!

  13. What a great idea! I can see that having those trays would aid in providing balanced meals to our children…most of the time anyway LOL. These are def. going on my list of near future purchases!

  14. LOL- love how you kept this post real. (No staged lunches) and a reminder not to buy a color for not me! That's priceless. 🙂

  15. The picture of the tray could have come from my house. I love chips and dip and the same little debbie brownies. Although the Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes are my all time favorite.

  16. My first thought was that the divided trays wouldn't work for me; we're more casual than that around here. But then you talked about their portability and the fact that they're color-coded, and I'm sold!

  17. I love those trays! 22 years ago, Kmart had them in an astounding number of colors (18?), and my mom bought one of each for our family reunion which was a week at a state park. We didn't each have to use the same color tray at every meal, but at any one meal it was useful to remember your color so you didn't lose track of your plate. They are excellent for eating outdoors, esp. because they help balance your cup. My mom still has the trays and uses them every summer for outdoor meals.

    However, the kids I know now who eat school lunches tell me they don't get to use that kind of tray; everything is STYROFOAM now! Bleahh!! My son will go to public school next year but will be bringing his lunch!

  18. We have the smaller ones from Target…we buy them every holiday when they change patterns and have around 20 or so. They even have a place for dip or sauce and the kids LOVE them. Helps me to keep meals balanced as well…I'm always thinking of something to fill that last spot, usually Applesauce LOL

  19. And this is why I have an OCD compulsion as an adult. I can't stand for my food to touch each other on the plate! I mentioned you in my newest post, by the way. :o)

  20. Disqus generic email templateAs mentioned in the post, we got them at Target several years ago. I don't know if they still have them now.

  21. Do you know if the school lunch trays that are so cute and functional and come in pretty colors have bpa in them????

  22. Love these, these trays would be a great idea for my 40th class reunion coming up , it would bring back so many memories. Where can I get like 150 of them cheap?

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