Tag Archives: lunches

Back to School

Hard to believe the summer is slowly coming to a close. For some, school has already started. For others, it’s coming up in a week or so, and for most of us in New Jersey school starts in September. Since school is creeping up on us, I thought I’d take time to share some things that have helped me get lunch prep for school days easier.

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One thing I have learned is that preparation is key. Nothing beats reaching into the freezer and pulling out a ready-made lunch. One of the best things I do is purchase bread and lay the slices on the counter. Half get peanut butter, the other half get jelly. Into a zip lock bag they go and get stacked in the freezer. Sure, you could buy those Crustables, but why spend the money on something you can do yourself, and you can control the health of it too (whole wheat bread, organic natural peanut butter and organic jelly).

The other thing I do is to break down a bag of snacks into individual portion sizes. I will take pretzels, organic popcorn and package it so that when I prepare lunches the night before all I have to do is grab a bag.

ImageOne of my most favorite “tools” for packing lunches are these Fit to Fresh sets (I buy mine at Home Goods). They have freezeable packs that fit into the containers. I will pack sandwiches, fruit, pepperoni and cheese, whatever needs to stay cold in these the night before. In the morning, I slip in the freezer pack and throw in the lunch bag.

Another thing I have purchased are the re-usable sandwich and snack bags. I purchased these white and purple ones at Target (similar here). You can wash the insides and even throw in the washer.

I also know, one of the hardest things is trying to come up with lunch ideas to keep things interesting. Who wants the same boring thing in their lunch? The following blogs have some great ideas:

50 Lunch Box Ideas

10 Ways to Switch Up Your Kids Lunch

I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have to make mornings easier.

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Beyond The Lunchbox: Bento Box

I’ve recently discovered the bento box craze. No, we do not have one as my daughter isn’t old enough to eat lunch at school. But if she did, boy oh boy would we be having fun! (On a side note, I did make my own little version for Valentine’s Day yesterday that I’ll share). I don’t know if providing fun shaped food in lunches actually makes the kids eat healthier, but it must be exciting for them to open their box every day to see what’s inside. And their friends must be equally as curious too. Would this make us the coolest moms in the lunchroom?

I’ve picked out some fun websites that feature bento lunches to inspire you. Even if you don’t go crazy, they are fun to do now and again to add a little kick to the day. Enjoy!

This is the heart/pink inspired lunch I made for my daughter yesterday. It features a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich cut out with a heart cookie cutter, strawberry fruit leather cut out with a small heart cookie cutter, pink cup with strawberry yogurt drink and a heart straw and raspberries. She was very excited about it!

As you’ll be able to see, I’m quite the novice when compared to these ladies!

From KookyCulinary a butterfly inspired bento

Dinosaurs from BentoLunch

Winter bento at JustBento

School of Fish and Peas in a Pod from BentoFun

Three witches (Halloween) bento from Another Lunch

All these sites have great information on how to get started, tutorials, shops, tips, tricks (food marker) and much more should you want to join the bento revo(lution)! Good luck.

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