With back to school season in full swing, it’s time to get back into a routine. Earlier bedtimes, homework routines, and so much more are on the minds of parents everywhere. Today, I’m sharing time saving tips on how to pack the perfect lunch for school. Following these tips to pack the perfect lunch will make your mornings a bit easier.
Packing the perfect lunch for school is easy when you have a great system in place. Taking lunch from home gives you more control of what your kiddos are eating and you can help show them what a well balanced meal looks like.
Step 1: Gather Packing Supplies
Storing your child’s lunch box, thermos, reusable silverware and containers in one location will save you time in the morning. Wash and restock the items each night so everything is ready to go in the morning. Be sure ice packs are returned to the freezer and ready to go for the next day.
Step 2: Stock Your Pantry With Essentials
Staying stocked up on ingredients is key to packing the perfect lunch. When I head to Shaw’s, I stock up on the 8 pack 12 ounce bottles of DASANI water, POWERADE 8 pack 20 ounce bottles, and Lance 8 count variety pack crackers. Keeping these items in my pantry, gives me a jump start on packing the perfect lunch.
Save $1.50 on any (1) Lance 8 count and larger sandwich packs when you buy any (2) participating DASANI, POWERADE or Honest Kids multipacks with tear-pad coupon found in-store.
While shopping for your lunch box essentials, look for the in-store coupon offer available in most stores on an end-cap or other in-store display.
Step 3: Vary the Main Course
The perfect lunch for us is balanced with fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. It’s nice to change up what you serve daily to ensure your children get a variety of nutrients and flavors. While the favorite around here is a traditional peanut butter and jelly, I like to swap out what is in his lunch box. Some outside the box ideas for packing the perfect lunch are:
- Turkey sandwich with cheese on whole grain bread
- Whole grain cereal in a small reusable bag with a short wide-mouth thermos of milk
- A bento style lunch with sliced pepperoni, crackers, cheese, and grapes
- Roast beef and cheese roll ups with sliced bell peppers
Step 4: Focus on Flavorful Side Items.
We eat with our eyes first. By offering foods that are bright and colorful, like rainbow carrots and berries, your children will gravitate towards them. These are some flavorful choices are packed with nutrients that kids need to power through the day:
- Squeezable Yogurt tubes
- Fruit Kabobs
- Hard-boiled Eggs
- Homemade Blueberry Mini Muffins
- Lance Captain’s Wafers Variety Pack Crackers
Step 5: Include a Delicious Snack
Lunch is the time of day where your children connect with their friends, refuel, and get ready for the afternoon. Some fun lunchtime snack ideas are:
- Homemade Trail Mix
- Fruit Leather
- Low-fat Pudding
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
Step 6: Offer more than one Beverage Choice
My son likes to drink water at snack time and have another beverage to enjoy with his lunch. Sometimes I include DASANI water and a bottle POWERADE. The packaging on both is reusable, which is great if he doesn’t finish the drink at school.
Keep in mind that many schools have a short lunch period. Make sure everything is ready-to-eat and foods your child loves. It’s also important to not overpack. Pay close attention to what is coming home during the first few weeks of school and adjust your packing accordingly.
What are your tips to pack the perfect lunch?