My Virtual School Lunch Dilemma


We have been in virtual school a few weeks now, so things should begin to normalize, right? I don’t know about you, but I am finding as soon as I think it’s safe to take a breath and relax, we have to shift something again, and chaos ensues.

Lately for me, the issue is lunch. The virtual school lunch dilemma is stressing me out.

I am working full-time from home. My schedule (and place of employment) have been super flexible. I recognize how much of a blessing this is. My heart goes out to those trying to navigate leaving their homes for work and having children at home attending virtual school. Whatever your situation is, I’m sure you have your own set of bridges to cross.

Right now, I’m trying to conquer being a “school” nutritionist. Lunch is a dilemma. To be fair, my school district IS providing food for children via bus routes. However, I have not been able to make the pickups work. The buses run at the same time school is in session. I’m a single parent and I’m not leaving my seven-year-old to navigate virtual school on her own so I can go and pick up food that she potentially won’t even eat.

(As her mother, I should know what she will and will not eat, right? Wrong! No lie, her taste buds change by the hour. We had pancakes one morning for breakfast and a few days later she informed me that she doesn’t like pancakes! Just like that.)

I try to complete my work hours at the same time she is in school. Lunch is 11:30-12:30. I know this, so it shouldn’t be a struggle. But it is.

I feel like we are repeating the same lunch foods over and over, and both of us are growing tired of it already. I don’t have a peanut butter and jelly or a turkey and cheese sandwich kind of kid. So really, this is a dilemma of my own making. How often do your kids request pho noodles for dinner? See what I mean?

How do we solve this problem?

My mission for right now is to meal prep. I feel like this will give us options to grab and go. We don’t need to have a Beauty and the Beast moment where I’m saying eat what I give you or starve (I don’t really do that). Preparing meals in advance will be an initial investment of time, but we will have more time during the week, so things should balance out.

I plan to prepare food on Sundays, and maybe write what’s available on our white board to make this even easier! The first round will be steak bites, barbecue chicken wings, and turkey meatballs, alongside cauliflower fried rice, broccoli, creamed corn, and salad. This should last us through the week, for lunches anyway. Dinner is a whole other thing…

How are you navigating lunch during virtual school? Do you have lunch ideas for kids that don’t like sandwiches? If so, please share!


  1. Plan, Plan, Plan, and then Plan again!
    Ask your child to be involved in the process of planning meals for the week. I ask my children to put in their request(s) for the week, by Wednesday. Some requests are easy, some are not, but I do try to accommodate the request.
    On Thursday, I take inventory of what I have in my freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Friday night, I sit down and plan out the menu, make my shopping list, and then shop for the week. I try to shop on Saturday and then prep on Sunday.
    During the week, I do have some dissention some days, I just try to remind them that this is what is for lunch/dinner and that they helped make the menu.
    Here is my menu for this week-
    Monday- Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Carrots & Celery Sticks, Apple Slices, Chips
    Dinner: Crockpot Amish Chicken and Noodles
    Tuesday- Lunch: Grilled Cheese Dunkers (Sandwich cut into strips) & Creamy Tomato Soup, Orange wedges
    Dinner- Cranberry Apple Cider glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
    Wednesday- Lunch: Taco Rollups, salad, applesauce
    Dinner: Crockpot Salisbury Steaks with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans
    Thursday- Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese, apples, celery
    Dinner: Restaurant (Oldest son has a football game at 5:30 pm)
    Friday- Lunch: Celery and peanut butter, apples, baby carrots, and pretzels
    Dinner: Homemade Pizzas
    Saturday: Leftovers
    Sunday: Lunch: Sandwiches
    Dinner: Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread

    I hope you have luck finding a balance. It can be difficult, but also very rewarding to have them home with you.


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