Our first post in our Back To School Series is all about lunches! You may have gotten comfortable over the summer not having to pack lunches, so I wanted to share some tips to streamline the lunch making process for you, and give you a chance to plan ahead so that you are all set once school starts:
- Keep one container in the fridge and one in the pantry with all the designated lunch foods and snack to make it quick and easy to access during lunch assembly.
- Packing the lunch the night before saves you time in the morning AND by storing it in the fridge or freezer overnight it will stay cool until lunch time.
- Freeze clean, wet sponges to use as cold backs (put in a reusable snack bag to keep everything dry). After lunch, your child can use the now thawed sponge as a face/hand cleaner.
- Make ahead: If your child loves sandwiches, you can save some time by making a week's worth of sandwiches and freezing them. Add the sandwich to the lunch box in the morning and it will be thawed by lunch!
- The above tip also works with pasta or rice. Pack as is in the morning, or thaw ahead of time and add some cubed ham or chicken, cheese and shredded carrots (if your child likes) for quick and easy pasta salad.
- To keep apple slices from browning: Slice up an apple, put it back together and secure with a rubber band.
- Save supper leftovers and send along as a cold lunch the next day, or use a thermos to heat them up in the morning (see our favourite below).
- Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, fruit and cheese for fun shapes and to save space if your child is not a crust-eater.
- Include a note with a funny joke or a sweet something about your child. To save time, write up a bunch on the weekend, or use a free printable.
We've put together some great lunch ideas to get you inspired for the first month of school:
We also love these Tortilla Roll-ups for the lunch box:
We'd love to hear some of your tried and true lunch box hacks! Please share in the comments.