This post sharing school lunch ideas and lunch box hacks was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.
If there’s one thing that I want to save time on when it comes to back to school time, it’s packing lunches. Sophia preferred taking her lunch last year in Kindergarten and has already informed me that this year she plans to do the same. Thankfully I learned some great ideas and lunch box hacks last year that will help me make it through another year of packing lunches!
When it comes to packing lunches, I admit, I get a little lazy as the school year goes on. In the beginning of the year, she gets cute little shaped foods and super healthy and fresh choices that are unique almost everyday. By the end of the year, I’m struggling to think of something that she’ll eat without returning a full lunch box! That’s half true – she’s actually very good about eating her lunch, but it still is a struggle for me after packing dozens and dozens of lunches.
Buy single serve snacks
I know, I know. This in all ways goes against packing a cute bento lunch, but it will save you a ton of time. And just because you buy some pre-packaged snacks doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy ingredients. There are a ton of organic and healthy living companies that are now offering convenient single serve packages of snacks to help us Moms out. The girls currently cannot get enough of these Justin’s Snack Packs. The delish combination of pretzels and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter has definitely won them over. Just be sure your child knows to toss the empty packages in their school’s recycling bin!
Freeze packaged snacks for a dual purpose
This is by far my favorite lunch box hack because it saves Sophia from having to lug a lunch box around with a heavy frozen ice pack in the mornings. My favorites to freeze to help keep all the other foods cool are Stonyfield YoKids Tubes and applesauce pouches. They both thaw out by lunch time!
Use a lunch box that works for you
We’ve had a few different lunch boxes and I can tell you, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s going to be a long year. It might be too little, oddly shaped, or just not hold the lunch supplies you have. Either way, you need a lunch box that works for you and I might just have a solution in the latest one I found… PackIt!
While it may look like a neat lunch box on it’s own, the PackIt bag is actually really cool for 2 different reasons. It unfolds to be a standard size, but I love the neat little fold so I can easily store it in the cabinet… or freezer… when it’s not at school. Wait, did I say freezer?! The PackIt lunch box is made with lining that actually freezes! Think of a flexible ice pack and that’s exactly what you get with this lunch box! So if keeping your lunch cold has been a problem, this is definitely a solution. Do be aware that it definitely adds a bit of weight to the lunch bag, not enough to cause any lower back issues like those full backpacks though!
Purchase easy bento supplies
I have a whole post dedicated to beginner bento supplies so you should definitely click on over. Even if you don’t want to invest a lot, a pack of food picks and small shape cutters are an easy way to add some fun to school lunches. Don’t want to invest a lot in bento supplies? Cookie cutters work just as well for fun sandwiches!
Pack foods that contain hidden veggies
It’s my last tip and it might be my best. I have to admit, I cannot get Sophia to like any fresh vegetables no matter how much I try. That’s why I definitely have to get creative when it comes to packing healthy veggies for her lunch box. Crackers, crisps, and anything else that I can find that has hidden veggies are my secret to a healthy school lunch ideas!
These five little lunch box ideas and school lunch ideas have helped me prepare for another year and I hope they help you too!
What’s your favorite lunch box hack that I may or may not have mentioned?