What’s the big deal with Lunch Box Notes?

lunch box notesLunch box notes seem to be a staple these days.  At least according to Pinterest.   If I believe all the pins I see, they’re as important to my child’s lunch as the healthy fruit and whole grain snack.

I don’t remember lunchbox notes  from my childhood.

Sure, my mom stuck a valentine in my lunch on the appropriate day and maybe a birthday card.  But that was about it.  My mom wasn’t a slacker.  No one else’s mom sent notes either.

There were moms who used lunch box notes to remind their kids about after school dentist appointments.  But that’s not the same thing, is it?

My husband said his mom didn’t “do” lunch box notes either.

Since I have no experience as a lunch box not recipient, I’m trying to figure out the rules.  So I googled.

Google has a LOT to say about lunch box notes.

Lunch box?  Lunch-box?  Lunchbox?  Which one is it?  (all three pass my spell checker).

Did you know you can actually purchase them on Amazon?  Check out Lunchbox Love Notes for Kids by Say Please. 96 positive lunch notes and fun trivia for your child’s school lunchbox, backpack, or binder. (Volumes 25-32) or Mini Lunch Notes or even this book on the subject Lunch Box Letters: Writing Notes of Love and Encouragement to Your Children.

Cafe Mom has a great roundup of posts that list a variety of ways to give your child a mid-day hug in their lunch box.

There are a ton of great printables to make it easy to show your child some lunch box love.  Most have them have been pinned and collected on Pinterest in a single board or two or three (ok, there’s a ton of pinboards on the subject… google at will).

I spent a lot of time “researching” lunch box notes on Pinterest.

What?  You don’t do market research on Pinterest?

I do. Because I want to be helpful. I promise I don’t enjoy it (much).

After spending more time that I’d care to admit, I decided the unwritten rules for lunch box notes (if they were written down) would be pretty simple.

Lunch Box Note Rules:

  1. Do not embarrass your child.
  2. Be positive.
  3. Make them smile.
  4. Make them feel loved.
  5. Keep it cute (but gender appropriate for them).
I took the easy route.  I grabbed two pads of post-it notes and a few sharpies.  I filled them with appropriate comments and stashed them with the lunch making supplies.   Random lunch box love achieved.
I even stuck a blank pad of notes and a sharpie marker in the same place, just in case I need to do something custom.

Then I started thinking about things you’d NEVER want to say in a lunch box note.  To anyone.  Ever.

You know me.  You know I had to go there.  Tastefully ish.

Lunch Box Notes You Should NEVER Send:

(provided as a public service.  because i think you might learn from these examples)

Do you send notes in your child’s lunch?  Can you add to my “hall of shame” of lunch box notes you should never send?



Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. OMG, you crack me up woman! I’m eating pizza, your shoes don’t match, underwear stories….ROFL

    I wonder if it’s too early to start putting notes in my son’s lunch box?
    karenq recently posted..Spiders, Waiting Room & the ZooMy Profile

  2. I sometimes send lunch box notes. (Although, one was actually a reminder for him to check the lost and found for something he had lost. ) I like your idea of writing a bunch up and having them ready to go.
    Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..I’m So Proud! *sniff*My Profile

  3. i’ve sent one telling my child to check lost and found (it didn’t work). he was in kinder at the time, and his excuse was “i CAN’T read mommy!”

    who am i to argue?
    susan recently posted..Five Minute Friday – StretchMy Profile

  4. I did a few of my own “lunch box notes” last year for my son. This year he’ll be in 1st grade and I’m wondering if it will still be cool. But last year, when he got home he would say, “Thanks Mom for the note!”. I know eventually one day he’ll be too big for them 🙁

  5. I’m a preschool teacher, and it gets old reading moms’ notes to their kids when I need to open a bunch of packages and then wolf down my own meal. Plus, I feel stupid reading personal info like, “Daddy and I love you!” Barf. Pictures are better!

    • When my kids were in preschool, I didn’t send written notes. I sometimes remembered to pop a sticker on something or use a seasonal (party) napkin as I packed their lunches. To me, both were far better than a note my son couldn’t read. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to all of us.

      I am forever grateful to my son’s preschool teacher. She made it her mission to make sure every child left her class able to open their own lunch stuff. She actually added it as part of her lesson plans as part of her kindergarten readiness plan. I would never have thought to teach my son (duh!) but it was a huge help once he mastered the skill.

      (for those who wonder:
      1. open chip bags by “popping” them from the middle with air pressure.
      2. take the straw from your juice box. jam it into any single serve fruit container and drain the liquid BEFORE opening the fruit.
      3. put the straw in your mouth BEFORE you put it in the juicebox. sip and you stick.)

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