When it comes to back to school it also means back to packing lunches. Part of me really enjoys being creative with this process for maybe the first week, but by the time week 2 rolls around I am ready for simplicity and an organized way to make this chore quicker. I now have one in the 5th grade so I have had 6 years of working out the science of packing lunches. Add to the mix this year one that has several food allergies and I feel like I’ve experienced the gamut. So what do I do to take this process down to a few minutes? Here are 3 of the best lunch packing tips I have found!
ORGANIZE THE FRIDGE
The best thing I have done for myself is to organize the refrigerator. It may sound like a simple task, but you really have to take it to another level. You may need to invest in a few clear refrigerator organizers (they are well worth it). I grabbed a few at Walmart for about $8 just this week. I make sure to put the things Davis can eat in one bin and only things Graham can eat in the other. That way it is easier to grab and go! I also make sure to keep the items visible so that nothing is left to go bad and favorites are found quickly.
I know that a lot of times prepackaged or convenience foods can be a little more pricey. I like to mix prepackaged with homemade or things I package myself. Yogurt is something I purchase on a weekly basis. Graham and I both love the Yoplait brand and now we all have even more reason to love it. They have repackaged their boxes which is a complete sanity saver! The top opens so that you can easily grab as well as see the flavor you want. I found them at our local Walmart this week and was so excited!
You can also throw in a few pieces of fresh fruit that has already been washed. Just make sure you only put enough for the week. Once you wash fruit it tends to go bad quicker. I also like to add in pre-sliced apples or even prepackaged carrots with ranch dip.
MAKE AHEAD AND MAKE IT FUN
Anytime I can make a batch for the week ahead of time I go ahead and do so. Things like putting lunch meat in individual baggies or even pre-slicing fruit. A tip for pre-slicing apples, make sure to soak them in a little orange juice (it also gives them an added flavor). I also like to pre-package things like popcorn, nuts, veggies and crackers to have them on hand. A lot of times I can prepare this in about 30 minutes on a Sunday and have my lunches ready for the week. Some people even put the items in containers sorted out by food groups to let their kids choose what foods will go in their lunch boxes. This is definitely a way to make sure they are invested in their lunches as well as taking on some responsibilities!
What are some of your favorite lunch packing tips? Let’s help each other!