These super school lunch hacks will help you
It’s been a full week of school and parents are deep in the trenches of packing school lunch.
For all those battling school lunches five days a week, here are some super tips that are sure to help you keep your sanity…
Pre-cut as much as you can
School lunchtime is short and most kids eat slowly. Help your minis out by peeling oranges and dividing the segments, slicing apples, and cutting sandwiches in half. You can also remove snack wrappers so your child spends more time eating and less time fighting to get the packaging open.
This also helps when it comes to having fresh fruit and vegetables ready to add to lunches quickly. Simply pre-cut those carrots, strawberries, melon, cucumber, etc. to last throughout the week, and keep in a sealed container in the fridge.
Bake for the masses
Take time each month to bake big batches of cookies, granola bars, and squares. Freeze in small batches and take out the night before to ensure that you always have your child’s favourite treat on hand.
Use silicone muffin liners as dividers
If you have little eaters who don’t like their food to touch, silicone muffin liners make perfect dividers. They are soft and malleable to fit into any space. Plus they’re also waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about fruit juice, from things like melon and grapes, inching toward crackers and sandwiches.
Get creative with cookie cutters
If crusts aren’t popular in your home, get creative and remove the crusts by cutting sandwiches with a cookie cutter. Not only is this fun, but it saves you the mess of dealing with those soggy uneaten crusts at the end of the day.
This also works well for items like cheese and fruit. It might seem a little shady to trick your kids into eating healthy food because it’s fun, but why not?!
Use favourite foods
If lunch items keep coming home day after day, think about stocking lunches with as many of your child’s favourite foods as possible. Try to have at least three of your kids favorite healthy snacks always stocked in the pantry (or freezer) and ready to add to their lunch.
Turn an apple into a puzzle
Keeping apple slices from turning brown is no easy task. Until now! With a few strategic cuts you can turn your child’s snack into a fun puzzle. Not only will it keep the apple appealing, you also earn extra cool parenting points for creativity.
If you’re in a rush, you can also imply slice an apple into equal parts, reassemble, and hold the pieces in place with a rubber band.
Upgrade from lunch boxes to Bento-style boxes
Save time, money, and hassle by eliminating plastic baggies and individual containers. Containers with compartments are already divided into perfectly proportioned sections, so you’ll eliminate the stress of mismatched lids or having the right sized reusable container.
Use sponge as an icepack
If keeping lunch cool is key, a clean sponge will do the same trick as an icepack for a fraction of the cost. Simply soak in water, freeze overnight, and then place in a resealable plastic bag to pack in your child’s lunch box.
Alternatively, you can use a frozen yogurt cup and it will be the perfect eating temperature in time for lunch.
Use a thermos for more than soup
Don’t limit your thermos use to just soup and pasta. These hot and handy containers are great for keeping chicken nuggets, spring rolls, and other kid-friendly items warm until it’s time to eat them.
Don’t forget to preheat the thermos with boiling water to avoid lukewarm food at lunchtime.
Make lunches the night before
Avoid any added morning stress by making lunches the night before. This is also a great way to get your kids involved in the process.
Don’t be boring
Keep a list of lunch ideas handy on the fridge. There are so many healthy options that you can pack to keep your child energized and full, and avoid boredom with the same lunch items every day of the week.
This is also a great way to keep organized and plan your grocery list. You can find some great lunchbox ideas here.
Whatever you do, try to have some fun with school lunches and pack what your kids will eat. And, if your child wants the same thing every day, just roll with it. They will survive.