With the start of school comes the “fun” chore of packing lunches. Sometimes you can let your kids pack their own (if they’re old, or responsible enough), but most of the time, if left to the young ones, they don’t get all the nutrients they really need. Here are some hacks to help you streamline your packing process but still make healthy lunches.
Cut down on space by freezing your kids’ drinks. This lets them double as ice packs to keep the rest of the food cool while also letting the drink be nice and cold when lunchtime rolls around.
While you may not be able to let your kids pack their lunches all by themselves, they can sure pitch in a little bit. Make a snack station in the fridge or in a cabinet where the kids can go and grab bags of food. This will relieve you from the stress of packing while keeping your kids with food that’s good for them.
Homemade Fruit Cups
Don’t go out and buy store fruit cups that are usually covered in sugar, syrup, and preservatives. Simply cut up some fruit at home and then make your own fruit cups for your kids to enjoy. Much healthier and tastier!
If you make a list of about 10 to 15 lunch ideas, then you won’t have to stress about what to make your kids every day. You can just refer to the list and know that it will be good and your kids won’t be sick of eating the same thing too often.
Spend one day and make all the PB&J sandwiches for the week at once. Put them all in the freezer and then pull one out for each day. When it’s time for lunch, the sandwich will be thawed and delicious!
Kids always like getting little notes in their lunchboxes! You can print some premade ones from the Internet or you can put handwritten notes in their lunchboxes. Have some variety and put jokes or riddles in as well.
Believe it or not, but lots of foods are prefect for being put in a thermos. You can put chicken nuggets or hot dogs in a thermos to keep them warm for lunchtime, or any kind of drink or smoothie as well.
A common lunch problem is that fruits (especially apples) will turn brown by the time your kids are ready to eat. An easy way to deal with this issue is to cut the apple, and then bind it up with a rubber band. The pieces won’t be as exposed to air, delaying them from turning brown.
These things are awesome! They’re reusable food pouches that you can use for applesauce, smoothies, drinks, or whatever else you want. You can get one for each of your kids so they never get mixed up!
Pack at Night
We’ve all been there before: a hectic morning is made even crazier with having to pack lunches for school, and everybody is already running late. When this happens, we often throw nutrition out the window to save time. Pack lunches at night to avoid this stressful situation and keep your kids’ lunches healthy.
Most kids are picky eaters and don’t like crust or boring foods. Get rid of both these problems by cutting the sandwiches (and other things, like cheeses) into fun shapes. Unless you’re a sandwich artisan, you can buy fun cutters online for fairly cheap.
An easy way to remember that you’re not forgetting anything is by compartmentalizing lunch boxes. This way you will know if anything is missing and you can also save money on baggies and containers.