Disclosure: I am part of the Yo-Getter blogger group with Stonyfield. I have been provided with free products and compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.
I love my kids, I do – but one thing you wont see me doing this year is standing in my kitchen for hours creating lunch box masterpieces. In my opinion, it’s not so much about what shape the food is in, but that I’ve sent my kids to school with food that is going to help fuel their brains. So join me today as we discuss a few lunch packing hacks that will make putting together healthy school lunches at home on a daily basis a breeze.
Combine the early mornings of back-to-school with two kids to don’t want to wake up nor get dressed and the gag reflex that comes with making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 6 a.m. and what do you get? Hot lunch money being handed out and a coffee full of tears as I later see all of the adorable lunch pictures on Pinterest and Facebook that my friends somehow had the time to create – you know the ones with perfectly prepped sandwiches designed to look like monsters with celery arms and grape hands holding a handwritten note that says “Have a WILD day!”. Yeah, THOSE ones. I spent many days last year feeling like I was failing as a mother because I was not making them themed lunches in the form of a pop up book every day. Then I remembered that when I was a kid I packed my own lunches – and they usually consisted of marshmallow fluff and chocolate chip sandwiches. So, uh – case closed!
I do however want to learn to streamline our back to school morning routine so it is easy for me to pack my kids something healthy to eat every day before school – which is very important to me. So today I decided to brainstorm a few lunch hacks that hopefully will help us all stay prepared and on top of getting those lunches packed at home everyday!
Back to School Lunch Hacks
1. Make PB&J sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them.
I think this idea alone might revolutionize my whole school year! Make a whole loaf of sandwiches, bag them up and place them in the freezer. By the time lunch rolls around the sandwiches will be thawed and ready to eat. Plus, I no longer have to gag through making sandwiches at 6 am.
2. Quickly cut off crusts and score points with fun sandwich shapes at the same time by using cookie cutters.
Yes, I do still feel guilty about not sending my kids to school with fun shaped food – because all the cool moms are doing it right? This helps to ease that pain without creating more. And, no crusts!
3. Make a snack tote for quick and easy choice making.
I have learned that the choice of what to take for snack is probably the most important choice to make in the morning according to my kids. This choice alone takes them longer than figuring out what to wear, brushing their teeth and doing their hair combined! I am hoping that having a snack tote to choose from will streamline this process, plus having less boxes cluttering up my cupboards is a win/win!
I also made one of these totes for the fridge with individually bagged fruits and veggies. If they are ready easy to grab – the more likely they are to do so.
4. Freeze juices and yogurt sticks for ice pack duty.
This hack I have been doing for years! All I do is freeze their juice boxes and favorite Stonyfield yogurt sticks – then use these as ice packs in their lunches. We used to have real ice packs, but for some reason they never made it back home – they must have run away with the silverware.
5. Let the kids pack their own lunches the night before.
It’s an idea. 🙂