Packing Lunch – Top 4 Items to Make it Easy This School Year!
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It’s back to school time! Time to get to packing lunch. Everyday. Over and over. Needless to say, it can get really monotonous pretty early on. Having a plan and the right things on hand can make it SO much easier! Minimizing the gear and gadgets you have to pack lunches can streamline the process and make it some much simpler! I try to have ONE insulated lunchbox per kid, ONE type of container to pack lunches in, and ONE type of water bottle. With a few other little things added in. So, here are my four favorite go-to items that we use every day!
1. Lunch Container
I’ve tried a ton of different fancy lunchboxes – stainless steel, fancy $30 ones, individual containers. My favorite lunchboxes that I keep coming back to are these by Ziploc. The reason is that they are inexpensive if my kids lose or break them (which will probably happen). They also provide 3 decent sized divided compartments that I can fill up like a bento box.
Now, I’m not a super huge fan of having a ton of plastic, particularly when it comes to food storage, but we never heat anything in these and the food doesn’t stay in them for very long. Sometimes in life, you have to give a little and be practical about what works. These work for me to be able to quickly pack a healthy lunch for my kiddos, and that is what matters most. My kids love that their lunch is all in one place and they don’t have to open multiple containers. It also increases the chances of them actually eating the vegetables and fruit because it is all presented in front of them at one time.
These nest together really nicely in the cabinet and don’t take up a ton of space. They also can stack easily on top of each other in the fridge if you want to make a few at a time. I try to pack one of the small compartments with fruit, one with vegetables, and the larger compartment with a sandwich or another protein option & a fiber filled carbohydrate option.
2. Water Bottle
A separate water bottle is also key. When packing lunch for your kids, I don’t recommend sending them with juice or milk for lunchtime at school. They will most likely consume that first, not eat their food, and then be hungry soon after! We’ve tried a ton of different kid water bottles, and we keep coming back to the Camelbak kid water bottles. They seem to leak the least out of all of the types and are relatively easy to clean.
3. Insulated Lunchbox
As far as insulated lunch boxes go, I really like the ones from L.L.Bean. They hold up great and are easy to wipe out. I can also put a snack or bar in the front zippered part they can have later.
4. Ice Packs
These Igloo small ice packs fit PERFECTLY on top of the big compartment of the Ziploc containers I talked about above. It makes it so easy and streamlined. They also don’t get all weird and out of shape like some soft sided ice packs. I have about 10 of them in my freezer at a time. They line up nicely together in the freezer door.
Bonus Items for Making Packing Lunch Easy!
There are a couple other fun little add-ons I like to have around for packing lunches. One of those are these silicone muffin liners. I use them to make muffins, but I also use them in the containers above to add another way to separate things.
If you want to check out my Instagram, I’ll be showing you exactly what I’m actually packing for my kids each day. You can use the hashtag #awnlunchboxchallenge to share with others what awesome creations you come up with! No need for these to be perfect Pinterest worthy boxes, real-life stuff is so encouraging to others. So, let’s encourage each other!
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