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5 Ways to Make Kid Lunches, Faster


By Becky Mansfield, Your Modern Family. Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

With four kids at home, packing lunches can be quite the chore. Thankfully, I’ve picked up a few hacks over the years that make packing lunches a little easier. My best tip (if I had to give just one), is this:  Pack the healthiest foods that you can find.  When kids are at school and hungry, they only have the options that you put in their lunchbox. Make those options the best ones to keep them healthy and going strong all day long!

Here are a few tips to make lunch-packing just a little easier and fun for your little ones!:

1. Make sandwiches once for the week.

Make all sandwiches at the start of the week

Our kids usually eat the same thing every day (I change up the sides, but the main item is usually the same).  About three years ago, I started making sandwiches on Sunday night and freezing them for the week. It saves me so much time, which makes mornings a little less hectic.  Just grab a sandwich and go!   

2.  Cut their sandwiches into shapes.

Cut sandwiches into fun shapes

Although our older boys take the frozen sandwiches every day, our daughter loves when I make her little flower sandwiches. I just take a cookie cutter and make her a fun shape. Since she is home with me all afternoon, she will often pick her own shape & we’ll make it together. This makes lunch fun and easy!

3. Have everything organized so your kids can help you pack.

Lunch ingredient containers

Set up your pantry so they can pick things from certain boxes every day.  You can organize your pantry in any way you like, and it helps your kids stay tidy. Here’s a few examples of how that can come to life for you: Container no. 1 is dried fruit packs; Container no. 2 has little bags of pretzels; Container no. 3 has fruit squeezies, etc. Once your pantry is in order, your kids can even help pack their own lunches using a simple guide, like the above.

4.  Deconstructed lunch ideas.

Making school lunches

While my kids love sandwiches, sometimes their tummies crave something a bit different. A “deconstructed” lunch idea is perfect for your child if they want to have a bit of fun with lunch while still getting the nutrients they need. For example, apples and peanut butter are a great lunch alternative to a sandwich. I usually cut the apple at home and wrap it with a rubber band which keeps it together until it’s lunchtime. This simple trick is easy and effective, and then your kids can dip away!

5.  Pack leftovers in a thermos. 

Hot lunches

Our middle son loves to take hot lunches.  To make this easier, I’ll pack leftover meals in a thermos for him that will stay hot for lunch.  In fact, sometimes he tells me that it was too hot and he had to wait to eat it until it cooled!

Tip: If your little one has a favorite hot meal, consider making one big batch and spacing it out during the week. For example, my middle son LOVES macaroni and cheese, so I will make a big container of it at the beginning of the week and pack a little each day.

Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

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