Episode 39 Lunchbox Tips for Back to School
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Making school lunches is a struggle for me, but I have some tips and tricks that make it a little easier.
1-I use my blue refrigerator bin. You can learn about it in episode 12 “Let’s Talk About Lunch.”
2-My favorite equipment:
- Vera Bradley Lunch Bags My favorite is the Lunch Tote.
-Find the containers first and see how they fit in the lunch bags.
b) Get good water bottles. I like the insulated Thermos brand and the small Klean Kanteen water bottles.
-Buy the same brand for all your kids. It will make filling the bottles much easier.
c) Ice Packs. I like thin ones like these.
d) Thermos for hot food. I like stainless steel ones like this one.
f) Glass food storage containers.
g) Real Silverware including Forks and Spoons. You can get these at Dollar Tree.
3-The process I use for packing school lunches:
The Night Before
- During dinner I ask who is having school hot lunch and who is bringing lunch.
- I ask who wants dinner leftovers
- I pack dinner leftovers in glass storage containers and put them in my blue bin.
- I prep fruit and veggies. Wet fruit goes into these Ziploc containers and dry fruit like apples or oranges go into baggies and then it all goes in the blue bin.
- Any food that can sit at room temperature like chips or peanut butter sandwiches goes directly into the lunchbox.
- Napkins and silverware go into the lunchbox.
In the Morning
- Fill all water bottles
- Take Blue Bin out of refrigerator and start putting items in lunchboxes
- If I need to heat leftovers I start by heating water in the 2 cup Pyrex cup and then transfer the boiling water to the thermos.
- Heat the food in the microwave for 3 minutes at 50% power and 30 seconds at 100% power
- Remove hot water from thermos and add hot food.
- Place water bottles and thermoses in lunchboxes.
- Put a napkin between hot and cold items.
- Put ice packs on the cold side.
- Make sure there is silverware.
- Train your kids to bring home everything from the lunch, including trash
- This lets you know what they are eating and what they aren’t eating.
- You can reuse uneaten items.
- It reduces waste.
My Kid’s Favorite Lunchbox Foods
- Taco meat with tortilla chips. You can add containers of lettuce, tomato and cheese and containers of salsa.
- Hummus with pretzel crisps
- Apples with peanut butter (sometimes with melted chocolate chips)
- Homemade Lunchables. Add meat, cheese and crackers.
Share what you like to put in lunchboxes and any tips you have for packing lunches.