Since we’re almost back to school – it’s also back to packing lunches each day for my two. Thankfully, we have really healthy lunches at school – no processed foods, fresh veggies, fruit and more! But, the kids like Mom to pack their lunch most of the time. Even Dad gets in on the fun sometimes when I’m too tired to do it at night. We share all the duties around here. Sometimes he even does more than me at night since I’ve been doing things with so many kids all day! YAY!
Here’s some tips on How to Pack Easy & Healthy Lunches for your Kids each day!
Packing lunches doesn’t have to be to crazy involved with cutting each piece of food into tiny shapes and arranging it ever so creatively to form an animal (tho that is fun, too!) – it can be just cutting up some veggies, using a fun sandwich cutter for your sandwiches and a using a fun container! My kids love healthy food, so I’m pretty lucky. There are 5 components I use to pack our lunches each day – if you use these tips, you’re sure to have smiles when lunch boxes are opened at school!
I always pack a main dish – it can be a sandwich, rollup, cheese and crackers or the like, a fruit, a veggie, something crunchy like whole wheat crackers or popcorn and something sweet. The something sweet can be graham crackers with peanut butter, granola bars, fruit newtons, mini muffins and even a cookie! I don’t over do it on the sweets – but I like them to feel like they’ve had a little treat in their lunch. I always put it in the part of the container that has the little door on it and closes – that way it’s like a surprise when they open it to see what I’ve packed!
For a drink, I add an all juice juice box, flavored water or milk. It depends on the weather and I give my kids the choice a lot. Andrew loves milk, so he normally gets a thermos of milk. I put it in the fridge at night and it’s super cold by morning. He says it’s still cold at lunch. Ella isn’t a big milk drinker, so I let her have something else at lunch since she has milk at breakfast.
Speaking of containers – I love, love, LOVE these awesome bento type containers from Pottery Barn Kids! They are so helpful when it comes to packing the kid’s lunches and for when they eat them at school. There isn’t a lot of time during their lunch break, so I love that they aren’t fumbling with opening a ton of containers or baggies before they can eat. This way they just sit down, open their lunch boxes up and eat. That’s it! It’s was especially nice when they were in Kindergarten and away eating lunch and figuring it all out on their own. I didn’t worry about if they found everything in their lunch box, what they were eating or not. I always tell my kids to not even mess when “dumping” their box, just close it up and bring it home. I’ll throw it away. That way I can see what they are eating and adjust the items I put in. If they have half of their veggies left, I know I put too much in. But, if they come home and everything is gone but a few bites, and they say they were full, I know that I’ve packed just enough!
I also like Pottery Barn’s lunch boxes that the bento containers fit in. They are insulated and keep everything right together. I’ve also found that the lunch boxes from Garnet Hill (which are super cute, too!) will hold Pottery Barn’s containers. That way we can mix it up! Andrew likes to use both. Ella is into her Pottery Barn one this year. Either way – we’re covered!
I always grab a cold pack and a napkin to put on top and I always, always add a note! Sometimes I get more fancy and make cards with bible verses in them and sometimes I just add a post-it note that says “have a good day” and tells them that I love them. In my mind, it’s like giving them a little hug while at school. Maybe if they’re having a rough day, they know that mamma loves them.
See! Lunches don’t have to be Lunchables and chips everyday. They can be as simple as adding in a sandwich, veggies and fruit! I’ll be adding pictures of the kids lunches to my Instagram feed each day! If you want to follow along, make sure to follow me there! Lots more ideas and tips each day!
What do you pack for your kiddos each day? I’d love to hear some of your ideas! .
Check back tomorrow as I share a fun after-school snack that is sure to be a hit!