Check out our favorite back to school hacks for packing the best school lunch
Back to school also means back to packing lunches for everyone – and I’m looking for all the lunch tips I can get!
Packing lunches is my least favorite activity when it comes to the back to school season, but since I’ve been doing it for the past nine years I like to think at least I have a little bit of experience and definitely some valuable lunch tips to share with you.
Back to School Hacks
I just love back to school hacks – there are so many to your whole family be more efficient.
I just love life hacks for getting the kids ready in the morning, homework hacks for after school, cleaning tips getting their chores done, organizing hacks for weeknight sporting events, and of course, lunch tips for packing lunches!
Back to school hacks can make your life so much easier and definitely take a lot of the stress out of the busy school days. I don’t know about your house but mine is complete chaos on a school morning so if I can save myself even a little bit of time with a few lunch hacks then I am so thankful!
Mornings are Stressful
The morning hour before heading off to school are often times stressful. We have five people here, running around at the same time, that need to be dressed and out the door by 7:20am and lunch packing is usually the last thing on my list.
Before I even start to think about the lunch packing, I have to make sure that four little people are dressed, I’m dressed, and everyone has all of the homework, PE clothes, school projects, and band equipment that they will need for the day.
Once everyone is on track to leave the house at the correct time then I can focus my efforts on packing lunches.
If I know that we are going to have an especially stressful school morning, say there’s a field trip and we need to arrive early or there are extra projects that need to be taken into the school, then I will make sure lunches are ready to go, or at least prepped the night before.
Back to School Lunchbox Hacks
I have learned to save myself tons of time and energy in the morning with a few lunchbox hacks and I use a few lunch tips to make sure I’m packing healthy school lunches that are fun and my kids will actually eat!
Lunch Tip: Make your own lunchables
My kids love lunchables but I don’t love the price or most of the ingredients. I can pack a lunch that my kids absolutely love and I know will get eaten by making my own (healthy) lunchables.
Lunch Tip: DIY Ice Packs
Often when we head back to school, the weather is still very warm. The lunches need to stay cold, especially if packing dairy or meat products. Instead of buying lunchbox ice packs I make our own DIY soft cold packs. You can also use a simple kitchen sponge to make your own ice pack!
Making your own will save you a ton of money and you can keep plenty of them on hand in the freezer. Bonus – DIY soft cold packs are great to use on those playground bumps and bruises too!
Lunch Tip: Keep your apples and bananas from turning brown
I always like to add fresh fruit to the kids lunches but by the time the lunch hour rolls around the fruit might not look so appetizing.
If an apple has turned brown or the banana looks like its taken a tumble, might kids will not eat it.
By cutting your apple and securing it with a rubber band you can ensure your apple won’t turn brown but the kids can still enjoy their beloved apple slices.
You can also make sure to keep your bananas fresh by using a simple piece of plastic wrap!
Lunch Tip: Prepare in Advance
You can save yourself a ton of time in the morning by prepping your lunches the night, or even the week before!
My favorite lunch prepping tips are; keeping lunch items organized in the refrigerator, pre-making and freezing sandwiches ahead of time, and keeping a lunch packing station ready to go for those last minute lunches that need to be thrown together.
Lunch Tip: Make Lunch Fun
I’v found that if the lunch isn’t fun then the kids aren’t going to eat it. We don’t do many pre-packed items or unhealthy lunchbox additions so I like to find fun and creative ways to make lunch interesting for the kids.
To make a boring sandwich a little more exciting I like to use cookie cutters or special sandwich cutters to create themes. If you’re really creative you can turn your sandwich into a favorite character or draw a fun face on the sandwich bag.
And of course, always add some words of encouragement with printable lunch box notes!
The back to school season can be challenging – getting everyone on a new routine but I hope using some of these fun lunch tips can make it a little more exciting for everyone!