BACK TO SCHOOL: LUNCH STORAGE + LUNCH PACKING TIPS
Post by Lunches + Littles
It’s that time of year again; back to school! And with school comes lunches; lots and lots of lunches. If lunch packing stresses you out, read on, I am going to try and make it easier for you by sharing some of our family faves, and tips that will ensure you are more prepped, and less stressed!
LUNCH STORAGE PICKS:
With so many different lunch bags, lunchboxes, etc. finding the right fit for your kids can be tricky. Seriously, where do you even start? … Square? Rectangle? Bento style? Hot/cold options? (Yes. Did you know that even existed?) Some of this all depends on what you want to pack, but let me share our favorite 3 lunch storage solutions with you:
PlanetBox lunchboxes are all eco-friendly, stainless steel and come in 3 different sizes. The Rover (shown here) is the largest, and is perfect for hungry kiddos or even adults. The Launch and Shuttle are smaller, and are wonderful options for younger ones. My son took his Shuttle with him every day during his first year of preschool and now has a new Launch that he will be taking with him this year.
These boxes are very well made and really help with portion sizes, whilellowing for a lot of different options to be packed up in one box. My husband actually takes a Rover to work with him every day. PlanetBox lunchboxes allow for all sorts of customization on the outside and also offer various accessories, including cups and containers in different sizes that fit right inside of the box. All of their boxes are dishwasher safe and come with a 5-year warranty. No wonder they made my top 3! (PRICE POINT: $39.95 - $59.95)
2. LAND OF NOD BAGS + WEANGREEN CONTAINERS
I know that some parents don’t like traditional bento-style boxes, and if that’s you, this second option is perfect. We love the Wildside Lunch Boxes from The Land of Nod. They’re a nod exclusive, and come in varying patterns we love. They also have plenty of room and an outside mesh pocket where you can put a water bottle or drink box. I like to pair these bags up with our Wean Green containers for an easy packed up lunch.
Wean Green offers eco-friendly tempered glass containers in 10 different sizes, so you can mix and match and use them in lunch bags to pack whatever you need for the day. These containers are kid-approved and droptest approved. They also are very economical, and allow for lots of varied packing without the use of throwaway baggies. (PRICE POINT: $22.00, CONTAINERS VARY)
These boxes are a game changer, especially if you have ever wanted to pack your kids a hot lunch, but didn’t previously have a way to. The Omiebox offers two types of insulation in their boxes so you can pack both hot and cold items in one box. Heated up and pastas and soups can keep warm for 4-6 hours in the included thermos container. This will completely change the way that you pack lunches and allow for a really great way to use up leftovers, etc.
But that’s not all. The Omiebox also has a really sleek design that I love. The boxes are very well made and you’ll feel the quality as soon as you take it out of the shipping box. The Omiebox really is a smarter bento box that allows you to pack things up for lunch you’d never imagined could leave you dining room table. Completely leak proof and even includes a movable divider that can help you section off areas as you see fit!
These boxes are currently available in 5 different colors, including the new Purple Plum and the seasonal, Sunshine Yellow. (PRICE POINT: $39.50)
Okay, now that you have some great lunch storage options, let’s talk lunch packing tips. If you follow me over on my Instagram feed, @lunchesandlittles, some of these probably aren’t new, but with the new school year here, and lunch packing in the air, I think they are worth re-sharing! So here we go; let’s make packed lunches fun and healthy… Easy too!1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
When it comes to packing lunches, keeping things simple is key! Easy to eat fruits and veggies (think slices, sticks, etc.), wraps, simple flavors etc. are all great for the lunch box. Be careful not to get too complicated, and remember that school lunch times are often short. Pack accordingly!2. KEEP IT COLORFUL
We love to eat the rainbow in my home, and the same goes for packed lunches! Colorful food doesn’t have to be full of sugar or unhealthy. Veggies sticks, fruit bowls, homemade fruit leather, wraps. etc. are full of color, and healthy too! I have said this a hundred times, but it is so true: we all eat with our eyes, so let’s make the presentation for our kids something colorful and fun that they will be excited about eating!3. PACK UP FOODS THAT ARE FAMILIAR
School lunch time, away from home, is not the time to introduce new foods to your little one(s). Instead, opt for foods that are familiar and save the new foods for dinnertime or the weekends. You don’t want them away from home, questioning what something is, or how to eat it, instead of doing the actual eating. So pack up fun favorites that are easy-to-eat!4. HAVE FUN WITH SHAPES
Circles, squares, stars, hearts, flowers: food is just more fun with shapes, isn’t it? And it doesn’t have to be hard, I promise. Sometimes a few little cuts with a cookie cutter or melon balls (just use a melon baller!) can take an entire meal up a notch. A few extra minutes and a little creativity can make food more exciting and with that added excitement, comes added appeal. Making meals fun doesn’t have to be hard and the presentation can turn would be returned foods, into eaten foods. Give it a try!5. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
A packed lunch doesn’t have to mean sandwiches. Think outside the box and dare to pack some lunches that don’t include ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Some great breadless options include: cucumber sandwiches (check my feed for details!), hard boiled eggs, caprese salad, grilled chicken strips, quinoa bowls, etc. If you want to include wraps, opt for corn or whole grain tortillas, which are healthier and have a higher fiber content of flour tortillas.
There you have it! Some great lunch storage options and hopefully a few new lunch packing tips you can use. Remember to pack with purpose and keep the focus on fun, healthy and fresh foods. For more tips, recipes and pictures of cute kiddos, be sure to follow along over on my feed at @lunchesandlittles on Instagram!