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!
robin rue says
My youngest takes Yoplait yogurts in his lunches quite often. He loves them and they are easy for me to pack.
I was just having a convo with my neighbour the other day about her daughter starting school and her worrying about her not being able to open her lunch items! Going to pass this along – what a genius idea from Yoplait!
Melissa Chapman says
Great way to organize for lunches. If you take a little time on the weekend it saves so much time in the morning crunch time. I always like to give our kids fruit so the pre-slicing is a great idea..
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Yoplait yogurt is a great addition to any lunchbox. It’s super healthy, and there are so many flavors that the kids love.
Colleen Lanin says
Great tips. I go with prepackaged foods whenever possible when I pack my kids’ lunches. Sandwiches have a tendency to get soggy and gross.
Pam Wattenbarger says
Making ahead is my favorite tip. I really like to have lunches packed in advance.
Liz Mays says
The Yoplait cups are incredibly convenient for last-minute lunch packing. I do like the idea of having all of the lunch foods organized and easy to access in the refrigerator too.
Shannon Gurnee says
We love Yoplait in our family and home. In fact, it’s something we always have in our refrigerator.
AnnMarie John says
I do these as well. I like making things easier for me and the whole family so I put everything in a place that the kids can easily find and they can just grab their lunch and go during the morning!
Carol Cassara says
When it comes to lunches, making meals ahead is really important! I love the other tips that you have here, they definitely make life easier for parents!
These Yoplait containers look like the perfect size for my son’s lunch bag, and for me as well! It is my favorite yogurt!
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
These are really awesome tips! I love make-ahead lunch! Makes our life easier, and my kids love it too!
Make lunch the night before, they say. It just doesn’t get done every night, so I need lunches that can come together quickly. Pre-packaged foods like yogurt make this mama’s life easier.C
one of my favorite yogurts and snacks. I like to add cacaco nibs with oats with mine!
I’ve been packing three lunches this year and these are great ideas. Yogurt is always in their lunch boxes.
You can never go wrong with yogurt. It is healthy, tasty and convenient to pack in lunch boxes. Add some fruit, carrots, and a sandwich and we’re good to go!
Veronica Solomon says
These are all great tips. My son is 25 now so we are past the lunch packing phase