I’ve already told you about my extreme aversion to making lunches, right?
Packing a week’s worth of school lunches in one sitting makes my mornings almost pleasant.
But…that still leaves the weekends to make lunch. Yes, I dislike it that much.
Now, I did not invent the idea of the Muffin Tin Lunch (nor do I know if that’s the official name for it). I would love to give credit to the Inventor of MTL, but sadly, I do not know where one would register such ideas or if a patent can be obtained for sheer brilliance. I just know that I had seen a few of my Insta friends snap some pictures of this food delivery system last summer, and finally got around to trying it out.
My one complaint about this method?
The premise is simple: shop your kitchen for any random thing your kids might eat and put it in the little cups. The end.
It doesn’t have to be 12 different things, but the point is variety, so getting as many different items is key. It’s almost kind of fun to scavenger hunt your fridge and pantry for different stuff. It’s also great for those days when you REALLY need to go grocery shopping and you only have a little bit of this and that left.
In this case, I made a couple of PB&J’s and cut them into strips, cheddar cheese, lunch meat, white cheddar puffs, blueberries, pickles, cherry tomatoes.
Cutting normal food items into strips seems to be super fun for the kids. Whatever, it’s easy. I’ll go with it.
A plate of Ritz crackers always accompanies the MTL for homemade Lunchables stacking.
What is so amazing about this?
From a mom perspective, it takes about the same amount of time to do this as it does to put the stuff on three individual plates. BUT, I like that it’s a hodge podge of whatever I find in my house. I don’t have to think if things “go together”…I just toss it all in there and call it good.
Also, rinse the tin and clean up is done.
Less dishes = BFF.
Now, for the kids…when I pulled out my muffin tin last week, the kids literally jumped up and down clapping and cheering.
Lucy ran up to me, hugged my leg and yelled “You’re the best mom EVER!”
I can’t make this stuff up. They were that excited.
I think it just feels like a treat. And it’s different and fun. And at my house, MTL must be eaten outside. MUST.
They sit on the front steps in the warm sun and pick at whatever random little food strip. If you live where it’s too cold to eat outdoors right now, simply tossing a blanket on the floor in the living room would be a fun alternative.
My kids are young enough that they can share one muffin tin of food. If yours are older (but still young enough to get a kick out of this) you might need to have a couple of tins made up.
It’s like the kid equivalent of the wine, cheese and cracker picnic. Picnics are always exciting.
Bonus: they eat more food…without me nagging them.
A mom perk to this: when they are “done” eating, I leave the tin of uneaten food on the kitchen counter (or pop it in the fridge depending on what’s left)…and when they inevitably come to me an hour and a half later telling me they are hungry…”see what’s left in the Tin…it’s over there…” Boom.
Doing special things for your kids is painfully simple. It doesn’t have to be all Pinterest worthy and perfectly done with coordinating food tags and bunting “thrown together” in an aesthetically pleasing color palette. Kids are simple. We are the ones who complicate it.
So the moral of the story is: Toss a bunch of random food into a muffin tin and your kids will think you are the coolest rockstar mom in the history of Momdom. For five minutes of your time.
Sign me up.
Do you have any fun lunch traditions that are easy and the kids get a kick out of?