Yes, My Kids Are Teenagers and I Still Pack Their Lunches


There are many opinions on whether children should be responsible for packing their lunches for school. I’ve had quite a few conversations on this topic with fellow moms. The truth is, my children are teenagers, and I pack all three of their lunches every day before school.

Here’s why I don’t feel guilty for still packing my kids’ lunches, and you shouldn’t either if you choose to do so.

my kids are teenagers and I still pack their lunches

1. I enjoy packing my kids’ lunches.

This is the simple truth. It brings me joy when I put together my kids’ lunches (no matter how old they are). I get to serve them each morning. I’m grateful that I have a job that gives me the flexibility to do this in the morning. It’s not a task I dread, and I enjoy it. There will come a day when my kids don’t live in my home anymore, and I won’t be able to pack their lunch for each school day. Call me crazy, but I know I’ll miss it!

2. I can.

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease two months postpartum with my first child. There were many years when my body was in a flare, and I could not give my children 100%. I struggled to do ordinary daily tasks. As a result, my children became independent from a very young age. They learned how to cook basic meals, put themselves to bed, and care for one another.

Now that my body is strong and healthy, I feel like I’m recouping many of those early years as a new mom that I lost. Somehow, packing my children’s lunches brings me fulfillment that I know not everyone will understand. I’m incredibly grateful for good health and never want to take life for granted.

3. It reduces stress in the morning for my kids.

My children have responsibilities and chores they take care of on school mornings. Some of them include setting their alarms and getting themselves up on time, letting the dog out and feeding him, having their backpacks packed and chrome books charged, brushing their teeth, and getting their own breakfast. Mental health is a top priority in our family. When I pack their lunches, it gives them just a little bit of extra time to focus on other morning tasks. It helps reduce the feeling of being rushed and lets them know I love and care for them.

4. They eat relatively healthier.

I have growing kids who are active in sports, and each has specific nutritional needs. I wish I could say they are perfect eaters, but that is not the case. My kids make plenty of their own food choices. They have preferences and will often choose convenience over cutting fresh fruit or heating leftover soup, especially when they don’t have much time.

When I’m in charge of packing their school lunches, I take the time to make sure they’re getting a balanced meal with plenty of protein and vegetables instead of a lunchbox full of chips and cookies.

I understand not every parent can pack their child’s lunch each day. I grew up with two working parents who had to be out the door very early. It was up to my siblings and me to make our lunches, and it taught us to be independent. Each household is different, and we make choices based on our family’s personal needs.

If you’re a mom who enjoys packing lunch for your children daily, that’s great. If you’re a mom who gives that responsibility to her children to take care of, that’s great, too! There’s no right or wrong way. The most important thing is for your children to know they are loved and have a safe home to return to.


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