It’s back to school, and while many families are already used to packing a lunch during the work week, I have sadly fallen out of practice doing so in the last six-plus months. Being home has allowed us so much freedom when it comes to eating when and where and what we want. Next Monday, my little dude starts Kindergarten (hand me a box of tissues, I might just be a pile of sentimental mush by the end of the day). So, between being totally excited for him and hyperventilating that, “five friggin’ years” have passed by faster then I could have ever imagined, I started to think about food. Naturally.
This won’t be the first time my boy has been away during the day. He started daycare at 12 weeks, I have been packing bottles, frozen bags of milk or some sort of grub for him on a daily basis up until March 2013. While some families dread the lunch-making process, I seriously love doing it. I am “that” mom who has the Bento boxes and the star, heart and moon shaped cutters. It’s as much as an adventure in creativity as it is a challenge in making sure he has a balanced, yet fun midday snack. I have also found that he will eat more if I get creative with things – score! I have been pinning like a mad woman to my “Lunch-able” Pinterest board” and have found some inspiring ideas to help keep things from getting too monotonous in the box.
At the risk of sound like an advertisment, I am going to gush…I really do love our Laptop Lunch Boxes! While they are a bit of an investment upfront, you will be saving money in the long run. If you think about all the zip-bags and plastic wrap that you would have to buy to pack a lunch every day, these make total sense. They are not only reusable, recyclable, long lasting, and dishwasher safe, they also contain NO phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), PVC, or lead. The insulated bags are super cute, keeping their cool inside and out, with fun graphics that are not over-the-top boy/girl specific. I love that there is a set of silverware and a drink bottle included, as well as the containers, which all come in a variety of great colors. I have had O’s set since he was about two years old and it is still going strong, (that’s three+ years of not having to buy plastic bags, gang). I have an extra set of inserts so that I can make lunch the night before (I often pack leftovers from dinner) while that day’s set is in the dishwasher. In order to keep things cool, I will freeze yogurt sticks, add ice to the water bottle as well as include an ice pack under the main container.
I would love to hear any great tricks or ideas you have for packing lunches during the school week. How do you keep it fresh and easy?