It’s that time of year again the kids are back at school and the frantic pre-school morning routines start over including preparation of the dreaded school lunch box. To help reduce the stress of the morning routine, have a look at these 6 School Lunch Box Hacks every parent needs to know!
School lunch box preparation can be a cause of stress in the mornings, but it needn’t be. I asked my fellow parenting bloggers for their best advice, tips and tricks, and along with my own, I have come up with these 6 School Lunch Box Hacks which I think every parent needs to know.
6 School Lunch Box Hacks Every Parent Needs to Know
Keeping Your Cool
In the hotter months instead of using ice blocks that take up valuable room, why not freeze their drink? You can buy carton’s of juice or little bottles of water and freeze them. Pop them in the lunch box in the morning and by lunch time they will have a nice cool drink and lunch to enjoy. Alternatively you could freeze a tube yoghurt to do the same job, or add it next to the frozen drink and it will stay as a yoghurt ice-pop.
Get Ahead of Yourself
Sandwiches and wraps can be made ahead of time and frozen. You can take them out the night before, or if you need an instant ice block and you haven’t already frozen a drink or yoghurt (see above), you can pop them straight in in the morning. Little cakes and healthy muffins can also be made ahead of time and frozen, popped in the lunch book in the morning perfectly defrosted by lunch. If that’s all a bit too organised for you, then just make sure you always keep a frozen loaf of bread in the freezer and some wraps. If you run out of bread you can always make a sandwich using the frozen loaf, or quickly defrost a wrap whilst the kids get ready for school.
Who Needs Sandwiches
There are lots of alternatives to just old plain sandwiches. You can buy a little flask and give leftovers for lunch of pasta, soups and stews which can makes lunch time more interesting for kids. Lylia Rose suggested making a batch of pasta with vegetables and home-made nut-free pesto at the weekend, enough to last the week.
Or what about simply making wraps, rolls or pittas with the kids favourite fillings instead of sandwiches to mix it up a bit.
If you want to get more adventurous then check out this post from Raising Badgers for some great sandwich alternatives including homemade pasties, sausage rolls, soup and falafel, or this post from Motherhood diaries which has lots of fab ideas including tomato burgers and cucumber boats.
There are some really great ways to keep sandwiches and snacks separate in a lunch box. Nowadays you can buy some great lunchboxes that have separate compartments in them already. Check out some of the suggestions I have put in at the end of this post.
Alternatively you can use little plastic tubs, or for a cheaper alternative use paper or silicone cup cake cases to keep snacks separate. I also love, as does New Mummy Blog reusable plastic bags and snack bags. Works out cheaper in the long run, and much nicer on the environment.
Divide and Conquer
Buying larger packets of crisps, snacks and biscuits is much more cost effective than buying individually wrapped packs. You can then divide them up into individual containers or reusable bags ready to pop in to lunch boxes.
An Apple a Day
I always like to include some fruit in my kids lunch boxes. The problem is soft fruits can get bashed around in their little pots, and bananas can end up brown (and I have a fussy little girl that won’t eat anything brown- except chocolate!). So an apple is a good choice, but if your kids are a fussy as mine, they insist on it being cut up! This is a great little hack to get the apple all cut up, but stop it from going brown. I have this cool gadget (I’ve popped a link in below for one similar) than de-cores and cuts the apple up in to segments. Once cut up simply use an elastic band to hold it together as preventing the air from getting to the apple slices helps prevent them from going brown before lunch time.
For some of the great products and similar products that I have mentioned in this article, check out these links on Amazon.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small fee at not extra cost to yourself.
I would like to credit and give thanks to the following fellow parenting bloggers that provided photos, tips, tricks and advice which made this post possible:
Originally published in September 2018