It’s back to school time and you know what that means (besides labeling 393593 different items and trying to get your kid out of the door in time); lunchboxes need to get packed. Let’s be honest, it’s no small feat, and the motivation and inspiration starts to wear thin at about the 3 week mark.
It might not be the same for all children but I’ve found that if I keep the lunchboxes relatively interesting and not the same thing every single day, my girls tend to gobble everything up. I’ve had to learn how to switch things up without it costing the earth or too much effort because honestly, the last thing I feel like doing in the evening or early morning is packing lunchboxes.
In this blog post I’m going to chat through the lunchboxes that I packed this week and also some tips and tricks that work like a bomb in our home. I really hope that this inspires to get those lunchboxes prepped and packed, making the morning rush a lot less stressful.
First, let’s chat through some tips and tricks:
- It’s going to be the last thing you feel like but pack lunchboxes in the evening and pop them into the fridge. This has been a lifesaver for us this year so far because we have to leave a solid 30mins earlier than we have been for the last 3 years. It’s one less thing I need to do in the morning, making the whole “get out of the door in time” process go a lot smoother.
- Get your kids involved in lunchbox prepping and packing. In the evening when you are getting everything sorted, let your child help you, even with simple things like taking stuff out of the fridge or putting the prepped food into the lunchbox. Not only does this start to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership, but I have also found that my girls are more keen and excited to eat food that they’ve had a part in preparing. This is also a really great tip around meal times in general, especially when making a new dish.
- Buy a lunchbox with at least one compartment; this just makes packing food easier and the chances of it sliding all over the place a lot less likely. My girls have cute Disney Princess ones from Tupperware (there are also great Spiderman ones) but another good option is Sistema who have quite a wide range of options. I know there are some really expensive ones out there but I honestly don’t think they’re any better than the more reasonably priced ones, we’ve never had to replace a lunchbox during the year. But of course this is completely a personal preference.
- To encourage your child to get excited about the food inside of their lunchboxes, try to make it a bit fun with things like lunchbox notes, sandwich cutters and letting them decorate the boxes with stickers.
- Keep things “same, same but different” so that you know the food you’re packing is something that your child enjoys, but it’s presented in a different way which keeps lunch exciting! I’ll share some examples of this when we get into what I packed for the girls this week.
- Try to cover all the food groups, I try to prioritise protein as I know this will keep them fuller for longer. But I always try to ensure I also have healthy fats, dairy, fruits and some good ol’ carbs.
Now that we’ve covered some of the things that really help me, let’s get into what I made for the girls this week. Their lunchboxes don’t serve as their actual lunch (we have that at home when we get home), but more as a whole lotta of snacks to get them through the day.
Yogi Choobe: these are just easier to pack and more “bite size” I find
Peanut butter and jam roll ups: a nice little twist on a normal PB&J sarmie
Cheese dipper pack
Half a banana: I find that if I pack a full one, the girls don’t finish it
Nibbles from Oh My Goodness, essentially date bites
Grapes: remember to cut these up if your child is still small
Ham and cheese roll ups: another sarmie alternative that my girls love
Yogurt covered mini rice cakes
Yogurt covered pretzel sticks
Heart chocolate: Maia is only allowed sweets (including muffins, chips, etc) in her lunchbox on a Wednesday at her school so I just apply the same rule to Aria’s lunchbox as well
Yogurt covered rice cakes
Sausage and cheese skewers: I just use toothpicks
Oh My Goodness Apple and Cashew Bar
Grape and blueberry skewers: a twist on the regular fruit I put in
Yogi Choobe: these are a fave as you can tell
Toasted cheese squares
And that’s a wrap on what my girls had in their lunchboxes this week – anything specific that I listed inspire you? I’ll try to do this every few months to keep both you and I inspired because let’s be honest, it can get a bit (a lot) monotonous after the first few weeks.
But now it’s your turn, let me know your top lunchbox tips and hacks in the comments!