8 Tips for Packing a Better School Lunch

Are you ready for back to school? Packing lunches can be a great way to provide healthier options and even save you money. But, it can also mean finding the time to do so, and testing your creativity as you try to find new ways to keep your kids interested. We’re here to make your job a little bit easier.

Make it a wrap or a deli spiral. One of the things you can do to keep lunches interesting, is consider something you’ve been packing, and try looking at it in a different light. For example, say you always pack a deli sandwich on bread. Why not try switching it out for a wrap? You can even make these into deli spirals for a fun finger food.

Pack finger foods.  Choose a dip: hummus, or peanut butter, for example. Then fill a multi-compartment lunch box with various items that pair well with the dip. Or make your own version of a Lunchable, place crackers, lunchmeat, and cheese in a container for your kids to make their own finger sandwiches.

Save time on PB&Js. One way to save time on your PB&Js is by making them ahead of time and freezing them in individual bags. Also, if you want to give your PB&Js a little extra oomph why not try changing out the jelly for real fruit, such as strawberries? Or add a drizzle of honey for a tasty treat.

Pack it up the night before. Save yourself some time in the morning by packing lunches the night before. This will make mornings a lot less chaotic.

Let your kids pack lunch. Give your kids the green light to pack their own lunch. If you feel it’s needed, give them some guidance on what they should pack. Or better yet, pre-package any snacks for on-the-go.

Make it fun. Cookie cutters are a great way to make school lunches fun. Use them to cut fruit, cheese, or even sandwiches.

Mix it up with hot foods. Of course you can use a thermos to keep soups warm, but they also work with other foods, such as pizza rolls and chicken nuggets.

Keep everything fresh, including apples. If you’re packing apples, you can slice them up, then place them back together with plastic wrap, or a clean rubber band. This will help prevent them from oxidizing (turning brown). Another way to help prevent oxidation is by adding lemon juice. Keep in mind, Gala apples may be a good choice for lunches because they are slow to turn brown.

There are plenty of ways to spruce up school lunches and also make your job a little bit easier. These are just a few of the ways to start off the school year right, at least when it comes to food. Need more great ideas? Check out the “Ultimate List of Lunch Box Ideas” from “Finding Time to Fly.”

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