I was making one of the last lunches for my kids this school year (I think I am more excited for summer than they are!! I LOVE Summer break!) and realized that I have never done a post on my favorite lunchbox items! I realize that it is the end of the school year, but this is when I really start considering what I can do different or better next year.
I love seeing other moms tips for lunches, giving me ideas of what we could do differently, or just shake things up a bit! It gets to be drudgery to make the same lunches for the kids everyday, as the school year drags on! So thought I’d share what works for us and helps my kids to have healthy lunches each day! Especially since my kids can be VERY picky eaters (including one with sensory eating issues)…
My absolute favorite find that I found last school year was these Ziploc Containers, Divided Rectangle:
I kept seeing bento type boxes on Pinterest, but they were all separate and I don’t want to deal with all those little containers and do all those dishes! Then I found these Ziploc containers and I was in LOVE! They fit PERFECTLY in the kids lunch boxes and they were CHEAP! No separate containers to keep track of and wash.
The divided containers remind me to give the kids a fruit and vegetable each day. This morning, my daughter went out and picked some fresh peas from the garden for their lunches.
We often do carrots, apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, snap peas, etc. For the main meal, my kids enjoy sandwiches (turkey, ham, PB&J – always on whole wheat), bagels, cheese and crackers, tortilla roll-ups, salad, chicken nuggets, leftovers, etc.
They wash in the dishwasher and I’ve been using them almost 2 years now, with no obvious wear or issues. We don’t have to waste plastic bags each day or clean lots of different containers. They also stack wonderfully. I saw someone on Pinterest that makes her kids entire lunches for the week in these (including making jello and pudding in the smaller portion containers) and just stacks them in the fridge. A wonderful idea! I just don’t have that much fridge space 😛
However, as I went to write this post, I found out these have been discontinued by Ziploc. What?!?! I am so glad I stocked up and have lots of them 🙁 Hopefully, they are just updating them and will come out with another, updated version.
I did find these EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers, Set of 4, Classic as a bestseller on Amazon. They have good reviews and look exactly like my beloved Ziploc containers. Plus they come in fun colors – something the ziploc did not do! Seem like a great substitute!
Amazon had a sale last year on these Built Neoprene lunchboxes. Oh.my!!! Why did I ever buy any other type of lunchbox?!?! These are great lunchboxes!!! They fold flat, hold the Ziploc containers and more, they are flexible, and washable! Flat storage and washable?!?! Sign me up! Some even have a clip handle, so you can just clip the bag to your backpack! Here are a couple that I picked up BUILT Hobo Designer Neoprene Lunch Tote, Black (LB17-BLK) and BUILT NY Neoprene Lunch Sack, Robot Uprising Grey (LBK02-RUG).. but I got a few more as well, just browse the Built Neoprene section for different styles and colors. I was also able to pick up a few on clearance at Target.comfor an AMAZING deal as well!
Next on my must have lunchbox list? These great Thermos 10 Ounce Funtainer Food Jar:
They will keep food hot or cold! I can send my kids leftovers like chicken and rice, or send them soup, noodles, or just chicken nuggets. I always ask my kids, “Are they really still warm when you eat lunch?” They always say they are! It is a GREAT way to send your kids a hot lunch without having to buy the school lunches. I also pick them up on clearance at Target.com – usually on clearance after school starts! They are worth every penny because they actually work! I only wish they came in more sizes, shapes!
My last lunchbox favorite is these Collapsible Water Bottle:
I usually give my kids water for lunch. They prefer water to juice boxes. We are big water drinkers in this house. I’ve even seen these at the Dollar store. My husband picks them up at all his tech conventions. They work so much better than traditional water bottles. They take so much less storage space, store flat, easy to fit in lunchboxes, and they will even clip on to their lunchboxes… Love these water bottles!
What are your lunch box go-to items? I love to hear about other people’s favorite items that work for them. When it comes to making lunches everyday, whatever works for you is worth its weight in gold!