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healthy school lunch made of a turkey & veggie wrap, fresh fruit and cheese

3 Tips for Packing School Lunches Like a Pro

Whether it’s your first time making school lunches or the summer wasn’t long enough to get a break from packing food daily, you know that kids need to eat a variety of foods to get the nutrition they need to grow.

Here is how you can add variety and simplify the lunch making process without spending an eternity in the kitchen.

  1. Start with a compartmentalized lunch container.

If you are a beginner and just want to get started, look for a container with three compartments. This way, you have fewer compartments to fill, and each will have their nutritional purpose. The more compartments, the more items you’ll need to fill, so start simple.

healthy school lunch made of a turkey & veggie wrap, fresh fruit and cheese

Learn how to pack healthy school lunches that your kids will love!

Not only do kids love “compartments” but a divided container also allows you to separate the “wet” foods from the “dry” foods. Make sure you look for one that is leak proof if you plan on sending things like yogurt or apple sauce.

The largest section will hold the main item. This can be a wrap, a pinwheel (a wrap cut into 1-inch pieces), salad, a sandwich, or even food skewered through a bento-pick.

The second compartment can hold either fruit or veggies, cut into bite sized pieces.

The third and smallest compartment can hold either fruit or veggies if you didn’t pack it in the other two, or a dip. A treat can be something as simple as fruit or an energy bite.

baked veggie falafels school lunch with veggies and yogurt tzatziki sauce

  1. Add Color.

Lunchboxes with a variety of colors and textures have a lot more eye appeal. Colorful (real) foods have a lot of nutrition, so the more you can pack in there, the better.

Add both color and nutrition by packing baby carrots, cut celery, and cherry tomatoes, for example. Other veggies that hold up well in a lunch box are broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, frozen peas, edamame, and sliced cucumbers. Try sending a little hummus or dip with the veggies for more interaction.

Adding fruit to the lunch box is another terrific way to add color. Blueberries, strawberries, apple slices, and kiwi are all great options. Do your kids love watermelon? Send that too, but make sure the compartment is sealed since it tends to release juices.

turkey and hummus pinwheels with yogurt, almonds and fruit salad

  1. Revamp those leftovers!

If it was a winner for dinner it’s a winner for lunch.

Leftover grilled chicken can be revamped into an awesome wrap, leftovers from taco night can easily be re-created into a taco salad, and meatballs can either be skewered or sent inside a thermos.

Most parents worry too much about the temperature of the food when in reality, kids rarely eat their food hot! Lunch is as much about socializing with friends as it is about actually eating the food so just make sure you pack the right utensils and you are good to go!

If you don’t have the brain power or energy left to come up with a different lunch every day and have been packing a turkey sandwich forever, here are 5 different ways to use up turkey throughout the week that incorporate today’s tips.

What do you struggle most when packing a school lunch?

For more videos like this one to help you add variety to your meals, visit MOMables’ YouTube Channel and subscribe. 

 

2 Top Five Lunch Containers to send your kids lunch Back to School in!

Top 5 Lunch Containers for Back-to-School

Top Five Lunch Containers to send your kids lunch Back to School in!

Top Five Lunch Containers to send your kids lunch Back to School in!

Shopping for lunchboxes can be an overwhelming task since there are hundreds of different containers to choose from. Today, I’m showing you the top 5 lunch containers our lunch plan members love.

#1 EasyLunchboxes

Easy LunchboxesThe most affordable way to have a compartmentalized container when you have multiple meals to pack.
Browse all styles and shop for EasyLunchboxes here.

Pros

  • They come four to a pack and various colors; they are dishwasher safe, and a set should last you through the school year without any issues.
  • They are a great option for young kids without assistance, and they are perfect for packing multiple lunches ahead of time and stock your fridge.
  • Made from FDA-approved, high-quality polypropylene #5 plastic; No BPA, PVC, or phthalates.
  • Great for portion control or special diet; keeps food separated; safe for microwave, freezer, dishwasher.
  • These food storage containers nest together to save space for storage. 
  • Fewer pieces, more function; pack eye-appealing meals or snacks with ease; freezable, microwaveable, portable, stackable.

Cons

  • They are not leakproof for things like applesauce or yogurt.

#2 Yumbox Lunchbox

yumbox leakproof bento box container

This is the leak-proof solution to the single tray, single lid dilemma.
Browse all styles and shop for Yumbox Lunchboxes here.

Pros

  • Leak-proof
  • They come in various sizes and compartments letting you pick whichever fits your lunch packing lifestyle best.
  • Multiple colors and various trays make give this lunch box ultimate kid-appeal.
    • All food-safe materials, BPA-free and phthalates-free. Sturdy ABS (outer box), Tritan(tray) and Silicone (seal).
    • Dishwasher safe. Top rack only.

Cons

  • The price per unit. If you have multiple kids to pack for and want to pack ahead of time it’s an investment.
  • Outer shell must be hand washed to maintain the seal.

#3 Lunchbots Containers

lunchbot containerA compartmentalized stainless steel solution that is both durable and stylish.
Browse all styles and shop for Lunchbots here.

Pros

  • Made from food-safe stainless steel with no linings or toxins.
  • Easy to clean
  • Virtually unbreakable.
  • Multiple compartment options for different lunch packing needs

Con

  • Not leakproof between compartments.
  • Price per unit. If you have multiple kids to pack for and want to pack ahead of time, it’s an investment.

#4 Rubbermaid Lunch Blox

rubbermaid lunchblox

Packing lunches is now as fun as building Legos.
Browse all styles and shop for Lunch Blox here.

Pros

  • Various shapes and sizes provide make this a great lunch solution for different foods.
  • Blue freezer pack fits between the modular containers keeping foods chilled while on-the-go.
  • Durable plastic.
  • Leakproof.
  • Microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, BPA-free.
  • Fit in all lunch bags, regardless of size (smaller blocks only).

Con

  • These will quickly take up the entire top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Small compartments can be difficult for younger kids to open without assistance.
  • Takes up a lot of storage room.

#5 Kids Konserve Nesting Trio

Kids Konserve NestingPortable, easy to carry, durable, and great for food storage.
Browse all Kids Konserve containers here.

Pros

  • Bottoms are made from food-safe stainless steel with no linings or toxins.
  • Lids are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead.
  • Easy to clean
  • Virtually unbreakable.
  • Leak-proof.
  • Affordable 3-pack to start packing.
  • Fit in all lunch bags, regardless of size. Great for packing snacks too!

Con

  • You’ll need a few sets to pack ahead of time or for multiple kids.
  • Can’t pack a standard sandwich easily, must be cut in half and inside the largest container.
  • Can be a little hard to open for the youngest kids.

While there are many other lunch containers in the marketplace, these are the ones we typically use in our meal plans and recipes and for my kids. I hope this gives you a little guidance and helps you get packing healthy and fresh school lunches. You can check out all the other lunch containers and supplies we recommend in our store.

These nut free snack ideas are perfect for sending in your children's lunchbox if they are allergic to nuts or if their school has gone nut-free.

7 Nut Free Snacks for the Classroom

Looking for nut free snacks to pack inside the lunchbox or bring to school?

Even if you don’t have a child with a nut allergy, you may have to stop packing nuts for your children if their school has gone “nut-free.” Nut allergies are common and very serious, so some schools are taking precaution by banning nuts in all kids’ lunches and snacks.

Here at MOMables, our mission is to provide you with easy, realistic meal ideas that accommodate your family’s allergies and preferences. We even have a whole roundup of allergy-friendly recipes!

Need more meal ideas, even allergy-friendly ones? Grab our free sample meal plan to make meal and snack time easier!

These 7 nut-free snacks are perfect to send in your child’s lunchbox for snack time during the school day. In charge of the whole class’ snacks? These are great for that, too! All the kids will devour these delicious snacks, and no one will have to worry about their nut allergies.

 

These nut free snack ideas are perfect for sending in your children's lunchbox if they are allergic to nuts or if their school has gone nut-free.

1. Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

7 Nut Free Snacks for the Classroom

Finding a granola bar without a ton of added sugar is tough, and the mission is even harder when you have a child with a nut allergy. It’s so much easier (and cheaper) to make your own at home with this recipe! These bars smell like banana muffins, but with a crunchy, granola texture. Wrap them individually for easy lunch box packing!

 

2. Apple Fritter Muffins (Regular and Gluten-free)

these apple fritter muffins are a great nut-free snack for the classroom

Get all the classic flavors of apple fritters without the long preparation process and frying in these baked muffins! They can be made for an easy breakfast, but they’re also great to send with your kid for snack time at school. There’s also a gluten-free option if your child is nut- and gluten-free! Everyone can enjoy these delicious muffins.

 

3. Gluten-Free “Wheat” Thin Crackers

homemade wheat-thin crackers are a great nut-free snack for the classroom

Everyone loves the delicious crunch of crackers. They make perfect portable snacks and can be served with your family’s favorite dips and spreads. And they’re gluten-free! Send a whole batch to school with your child so he can share them with all of his friends. These crackers would go great with hummus, ranch, or seed butter!

 

4. Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

homemade fruit roll-ups are a great nut free snack for the classroom

Never buy the boxed fruit roll-ups again! Do those things even contain real fruit?? Who knows. These fruit leathers are simple and require just 2 ingredients. These are perfect for snacks because all kids love the natural sweetness of fruit! It doesn’t hurt that it’s served in a fun and different way, too.

 

5. Chocolate Coconut Granola

nut free snacks classroom back to school chocolate coconut granola

Throw a few handfuls of this delicious granola into your kid’s lunch box for snack time and he will definitely eat it all! The chocolate-y deliciousness is too good to resist. Make sure to use seeds instead of nuts in the recipe, or you can leave them out entirely! Either way, this granola will definitely be a hit at snack time.

 

6. Homemade Cheese Crackers (Regular and Gluten-Free)

nut free snacks classroom back to school cheese crackers gluten free

Cheese crackers are a kid favorite, and now nut- and gluten-free kids can enjoy them, too! These cheesy crackers are so delicious on their own, you won’t be able to have just a handful. The whole class at school will love these crispy crackers. Your kids will be begging you to pack them for snack time!

 

7. Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispy Treats

nut free snacks classroom back to school brown rice whole grain krispy treats chocolateThese brown rice krispy treats are definitely a more decadent snack, but since we’re using better ingredients than the ones in the box, you can feel good about sending them to school with your kids! These treats are simple to make, crunchy, and perfectly sweet. The recipe calls for peanut butter, but you can sub any non-nut butter, like sunflower seed butter.

Do you have a child with a nut allergy? Has your child’s school gone nut-free? What are your favorite nut-free snacks? We’d love to hear from you below!

 

 

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