Shopping for back to school lunch supplies can be an overwhelming task and sometimes you don’t know what you really need until you start the school year. Today, I’m showing you 6 essential supplies that our lunch plan members love that will help you start packing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
These 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!