by Lizz Porter on September 1, 2016

It's that time of year, and this morning, Max headed off to third grade. While I wistfully sip my coffee and wonder where the time has gone, I try so hard to focus on the best parts of him growing up, so I don't get lost in the sadness of days gone by.

Many parts of growing up are obviously awesome; he reads Harry Potter now, and discusses Star Wars with us at length. He is slowly becoming fluent in my language of choice (sarcasm) and can dish it out better than he can take it.

But one of the coolest newer self-sufficiency things for third grade? Packing lunches.

For the previous three years, since he started kindergarten, Max has basically assumed that magic made his lunch for him every day. It looked something like this:

*Embedded video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IQ1TdA3R8s*

But now, as a big bad third grader, he's in charge of his own lunch packing. He gets to pick one day week to buy hot lunch (two days if Jamie or I are traveling for work) but the other days he's on his own.

Packing his own lunch gives him a real sense of accomplishment to start his day. He's making his own decisions (Salami or bologna?) and taking responsibility for his own good choices.

Jamie or I still review them to make sure it isn't all potato chips and cookies, but the rules are pretty simple to abide by:

  • The sandwich doesn't need to have bread (He like to use tortillas sometimes) but it does need to contain protein.
  • There needs to be one fruit or veggie in there, so we always keep lots of baby carrots and apple slices around.
  • A morning snack for 10am recess should be quick a easy; Babybel cheese is his favorite for this.
  • One treat for after lunch: We let him pick one packaged treat at Costco per month. He often chooses popcorn, but fruit snacks or granola bars are also known to make appearances.
  • A drink is important: He has a water bottle in the classroom to stay hydrated, and doesn't drink bubbly stuff at all (his choice) so his special beverage of choice is often Tampico.

What's your child's school lunch solution? Are you packing it every day? Do they buy hot lunch? Let us know in the comments!

Check out TampicoIsColor.com for lots of creative ways that you can #FrolicIntoFallWithTampico!

As a side note, can you imagine being this excited to wake up and go to work every day? ;)

 For more articles by Lizz, visit her blog at http://morethanthursdays.com/