Back to School: 14 Ideas for Your Child’s Lunch Box
It’s that time of year again: back to school! While some of us may be mourning the end of summer, it’s hard not to get excited about the new school year ahead. So, as your little ones get ready for their return to the classroom, mom and dad can brush up on their lunch box prep skills. Here are 14 cool ideas to help you through a semester of lunch preparation and packing.
Lunch box hack #1: keep things cool
It is important to keep food at the right temperature to ensure freshness and avoid the forming of bacteria. To keep things cool, add an ice pack. Alternatively, you can use frozen drinks or a frozen water bottle. Our favourite hack is to soak a sponge and place it in the freezer overnight. Just before heading out, put the frozen sponge in a Ziplock bag and add it to your child’s lunch box.
Lunch box hack #2: keep things warm
We all know a thermos is great to pack soups and hot drinks. But did you know you can also use them for other hot foods? Warm up the food, and then transfer it into the container. It will still be warm at lunch time.
Lunch box hack #3: say goodbye to soggy bread
Let’s face it, nobody likes soggy sandwiches. Keep them fresh by cutting up all sandwich ingredients and putting them in separate containers. Use mini containers or silicone muffin liners to hold sandwich ingredients. Place all the small containers into a larger container with two slices of bread. Then, let your child assemble their own sandwich in the cafeteria. Don’t forget the plastic knife for spreading condiments!
Lunch box hack #4: frozen smoothies
Make fruit and vegetable smoothies ahead of time and freeze them in individual portions. These are great by the time lunch rolls around. They will have a nice slushy-like consistency, which kids love. Furthermore, this is the perfect way to sneak extra nutrients into your children’s diet.
Hack #5: the bento box
The bento box is a stylish and functional way to pack the perfect lunch. Its tidy compartments allow you to fit several mini-meals and snacks all in one compact box. Perfect for ensuring your kids have enough food to get them through the day!
Lunch box hack #6: keep apple slices fresh
Apples are a great snack food. Here is a neat tip to prevent your slices from turning brown: Start by slicing the apple. Then, like a puzzle, reassemble it and use a rubber band to hold it together. Easy as 1, 2, 3. You can also use a simple saltwater brine or plastic wrap to keep slices from turning brown.
Lunch box hack #7: mini skewers
Slice up fruits, vegetables and cheeses and thread them onto mini skewers. This is a great make-ahead snack technique and kids love them! You can also do this with meats and cheese or any other skewer-friendly food!
Hack #8: pack your own single serving snacks
Buy snacks like nuts and dried fruits in bulk and get your kids to help you divide them into individual portions. This will save you money too!
Lunch box hack #9: roll it up
Grab a tortilla and all your favourite wrap ingredients. For example, spread some mustard on a tortilla, add a few slices of cheese and some ham or turkey. Roll it up into a tight cylinder, slice it into bite size pieces and voilà! The perfect packable pinwheels!
Hack #10: let children pack their own lunch
Tired of packing your child’s lunch every morning? Create a snack and lunch station with pre-made goodies in your fridge or pantry. Then, let older kids choose a few items and place them in their lunch box.
Lunch box hack #11: breakfast for lunch
Tired of sandwiches? No problem. Change things up with a fun breakfast themed lunch. Pack whole wheat pancakes, fruit and hard-boiled eggs in their lunch box. On top of being fun, this is a great way to add extra protein to their diet.
Lunch box hack #12: make your own fruit cups
Avoid the overly sweet store-bought variety and make your own. Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes. Then, store in individual containers in the fridge for a week of healthy and delicious snacking.
Lunch box hack #13: make your own trail mix
Cut costs and cater to their individual tastes by making your own trail mix. Super easy and quick to prepare. Add crackers, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt bites, whatever your little ones like.
Lunch box hack #14: plan ahead
With a little bit of planning and preparation, making a week’s worth of lunches can be a breeze. Make a list of 10 to 15 lunch ideas and rotate them throughout the year. Stuck for ideas? Check out our 8 healthy snack ideas.
Packing your child’s lunch box can be a tedious task, especially if you have picky eaters on your hands. Luckily, a bit of planning and prep work can make mornings run more smoothly. Just remember to pack foods that are good for your children’s health and oral health. And don’t forget to schedule their annual dental cleaning to keep their teeth and gums healthy too! To make an appointment, contact the Fortin Poirier Dental Clinic today.