Alright folks, I know most of us don’t want to admit it but the new school year is just around the corner. We have less than 3 and a half weeks till school starts no matter how much denial I have going on. So I’m trying to avoid the last minute panic and get thinking about school lunches. Last year my oldest was just in Kindergarten so she only needed a snack for the half day she was there. Now we will be full day and she needs a snack and a lunch! We struggled towards the end of the year with lacking variety and needing some fresh spins on old favorites.
First let’s talk lunch bags. I happen to love our Thirty-One lunch boxes. They last for years which means I’m not having to buy new ones every year and because they can be personalized they are less likely to be lost, especially if your child has an uncommon name like my daughter’s. I use a Thirty-One key fob to connect her Camelbak Eddy Water Bottle to her lunch box. It worked great and a lot of moms were commenting on it. Most lunch boxes don’t fit a water bottle and food and it’s hard to keep them together. Just in case they did get separated I used my Cricut to cut out her name in vinyl and put it on her bottle. It didn’t quite make it through the whole school year so I need to redo it this year.
The best part is the Thirty One thermals are on sale this month for 50% off when you spend $35!
They also fit these Rubbermaid LunchBlox Kid’s Flat Lunch Kit perfectly and I have loved having these bento style boxes which give me freedom to do many different kinds of food options. They lock into the ice block base which is nice and the containers were easy enough for my then 5 year old to open. I didn’t have any issues with leaking when sending my daughter with yogurt or applesauce. Plus since there are 3 separate containers it makes it easier to change up what I want to send or keep things that need to be separate like the yogurt or applesauce from the granola or pancakes so things don’t get soggy!
And I’ve fallen in love with these reusable snack and sandwich bags. I have a couple sets and I am going to buy a couple more because they work so well and have really cut down on our waste and the money that I spend on reusable baggies. My personal favorites are the Lunchskins2 Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag because they have been the sturdiest and have cleaned up and dried the quickest. Sending food everyday with my husband and my daughter would get really expensive fast if we used ziploc baggies all the time. These get used daily and are dishwasher and washing machine safe!
I realize that investing in all of these items up front can get pricey but in the long run I’ve found that what I spent up front has saved us hundreds over the last year. I can buy or make foods in bulk that often people buy in smaller containers, like yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, crackers, pretzels, lunchables, etc. I can get 6 servings of yogurt from one 32 oz container of yogurt which saves us $5-10 a week! That adds up really fast folks!
So what are you school lunch roadblocks? Or what have you found that works really well?
And here’s some great lunch ideas if you are completely stumped. I’ve done some variations on a lot of the options she gives.