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10 Quick and Easy Tips for Packing Your Kid's Lunch

Updated on July 16, 2017

Packing lunch for the kids isn’t something that anyone looks forward to. Most parents want their kids to have something other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple and juice every day, but it can be hard to come up with new ideas that aren’t going to be met with an eye roll or a sigh.

That’s no reason to fret, though. These tips, tricks and recipes will not only make sure that your lovely son or daughter enjoys their lunch, but also that they actually eat it, and it’s a breeze to pack.

1. Freeze juice boxes instead of an ice pack

Instead of wasting money on an ice pack that will met and leave a possible mess by the end of the day, toss the pack of juice boxes into the freezer. When the morning rush hits, grab one out and toss it in the bottom of the lunch box to keep everything nice and cool.

2. Get a thermos

Adults get tired of sandwiches every single day, and so do kids. Instead of trying to find a new sandwich to create that will make them (hopefully) smile, pick up a thermos and make them some soup instead. This is perfect for those chilly winter school days.

3. Fruit is a side

There are a lot of parents that stick with packing a sandwich and chips, but it can be unhealthy, and it doesn’t add a lot of variety (which is what’s behind those eye rolls.) Kids like to switch things up every once in a while, so pick up some fruit cups, or some Tupperware to make your own.

4. Re-usable water bottles save money

If the thought of spending a small fortune on juice boxes a year is enough to make you cringe, skip that aisle and pick up a re-usable water bottle. Then, you can put whatever you want inside and save some money.

5. Tuna salad

There is something crisp and refreshing about a nice, classic tuna salad sandwich. Make some homemade before hand, spread some mayo on the bread and don’t forget a piece of lettuce. Kids love adult sandwiches as much as we do.

6. Cream cheese sandwiches

If you’ve never had a cream cheese sandwich before, now is the time to try one. These are easy to make, they take almost no time, and they’re so smooth and creamy everyone will love them. You’ll have to pack a couple extra ones for their friends after the first day!

7. Keep it warm with aluminium foil

There are plenty of ways to keep a kid’s lunch nice and cold, but what about those lunches that should be served hot, like pizza? Aluminum foil is perfect. Just heat the food up and then hurry up and wrap it up to help keep it hot.

8. Pre-make this stuff on Sundays

Busy moms know what it’s like to rush around in the morning and try to remember to give every single one of five kids a juice box, their favorite fruit and so on. It can be hectic and a little bit like hell.

Instead of having to throw making food like tuna salad into the morning mix, pre-make as many things as possible on Sunday before the week really starts. This means, make the tuna salad, put the fruit in individual Tupperware containers and so on. If it can be done early, do it early.

9. Do the rest of it the night before, if possible

There are some things that can’t be done the night before, like putting a frozen juice box in a lunchbox. The rest of it usually can though. Make the food the rest of the way (like putting sandwiches together), and so on. If there is more than one kid, put each kid’s lunch in a plastic bag in the fridge. Then, when morning comes, just take it out of the bag and put it in the lunch box.

10. Switch things up

It’s not just about whether or not there is a sandwich in the bag or not. Sometimes, kids like to add some variety. On top of that, it’s healthier for kids (and everyone) to eat a wider variety of food. If you’re feeling a little bit stumped as to what to try, these ideas will help:

  • Cucumber slices
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Apple slices
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Carrot sticks and ranch
  • Club sandwiches
  • Cheese cubes
  • Muffins
  • Goldfish crackers

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a busy mom with five kids, or a mom that can’t stand the thought of your baby eating all of that processed food, you can still use at least one of these tips.

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    • Becky Callahan profile image

      Rachel Finlay 4 months ago

      Thanks for your article! I am going to try the frozen juice boxes in my daughter's lunch. I also like your suggestions for switching up the lunch with some extras. My daughter has a peanut allergy, but I think I will try the apple slices with almond butter..