6 Tips to Make Back-to-School Lunch Packing Easy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Staples. All opinions are my own.

Nothing puts the fear of back-to-school in parents like the thought of the every day grind of making lunches. It starts off easy enough. You end the summer on a high note looking to get back into a routine. You convince yourself that this is the year that things will be different. Then it's one month in and you're back to the morning scramble trying to throw something together with three minutes to go before you leave the house. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way! You have already taken the first step toward school lunch success by visiting my blog because I have tons of fun lunch ideas to help guide you this year!

The next step is also good news because you're reading this blog post. I have been doing this lunch thing for awhile so I have learned quite a bit along the way. As you scroll down you will see some of my favorite tips for making school lunch packing easier. The great thing is that you can pick up most of the supplies at your local Staples. I hope that these tips help your school year go smoothly and that your kids come home with empty lunchboxes!


1. Dips are your new best friend.
Have you ever tried to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Have you ever failed miserably? Join the club. We have found that including dips in your kid's lunchbox can make a huge difference. All you need are some good dip containers, like these Rubbermaid TakeAlongs, and a few simple ingredients. Greek yogurt and honey, nut free spreads with granola, hazelnut spread, and ranch dressing all make easy and tasty dips. Don't laugh but my youngest even loves dipping his apples in ketchup!


2. Lunch box notes can help your kids know that you are thinking about them!
Whenever parents ask me what they can do to start making their kid's lunches fun, the first thing I talk about are lunch notes. They are personal, only take a few seconds to write, and kids love getting your encouragement. What is even better is finding these pre-made lunch notes at your local Staples location. These are already designed for you so that you can just write a couple lines and they are ready to go!


3. Prep food on Sundays to make your life easier the rest of the week.
Certain foods such as carrot sticks, celery, melons, lunch meat, cheese, and bread can all be sliced and diced at the beginning of the week and stored in large resealable containers. This way you can have healthy food in small portions that can easily be divided into lunchboxes at a moment's notice. Cutting up foods once is way more convenient than doing it multiple times throughout the week. It saves time and the frustration of washing the same knives and cutting boards multiple times each week.


4. You can never have too many ice packs.
Ice packs are one of the easiest things to forget when packing lunches, but the last thing you want to have happen is for your kids to get sick because their lunch wasn't kept at optimal temperatures. The great thing is that ice packs are relatively inexpensive, but the trick is that you should always buy more than you think you need. You will be shocked how fast you go through them. Another option is just to get a PackIt lunchbox. You can put the entire container in the freezer and the built in gel will stay frozen until lunchtime.


5. Cookie cutters might be your new favorite lunch tool.
Remember when I said that lunch notes are usually the first thing I encourage parents to do when they want to make their kid's lunches more fun? Well cookie cutters are a close second. Most families have at least a few cookie cutters hidden around the kitchen. These aren't just useful for cookies though. They are the perfect tool to turn sandwiches into dinosaurs, trucks, flowers, and footballs!


6. Don't forget to get a good lunchbox. 
This last tip is way more important than it sounds. I've seen lunchboxes sometimes only last half a year because parents opted for the cheapest possible option. It's possible to get great deals on inexpensive lunchboxes, you just have to look around. You can also find good thermal cases that add a fun touch. Staples has plenty of these options, many of which have matching backpacks, binders, pencil cases, and more!

So those are some of the best tips around to get you started this school year. What you do with them is up to you. You can keep them to yourself, and look like a genius to your friends, or share this post and have other parents owe you big time for awhile. I would choose the latter but either way I hope these help your school lunch packing days become infinitely easier!



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