School mornings are always such a rush in our house. No matter how organised I try to be, I often get stuck in a rut of giving the kids the same thing day in day out, as it is the quickest, easiest option. But with new determination, I have decided that this school year will be different – here are 10 Not to be Missed Lunch Box Ideas and Hacks, guaranteed to beat any back to school rut!
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It can be difficult to come up with new and interesting lunch box ideas that ensure your child will eat what you give them! Below are some of my lunch box ideas and hacks that have worked well.
10 Not to be Missed Lunch Box Ideas and Hacks
#1. It Starts with Shopping
Is there anything worse than being dragged around the grocery shop by your Mum or Dad? Not according to my girls, with the main gripe being “not an all aisles shop please“.
But getting the kids involved in choosing lunches is a great way to ensure they eat what you put in and, so long as you have good ground rules about treats vs proper food, you won’t go far wrong.
Create a shopping list together and while you get on with the main shop, let them find the items on the lunch box list.
You may also like to Download our Free Monthly Lunch Box Planner
#2. The Freezer is Your Friend
If you are all trying to get out of the house at the same time in the morning it can be really tempting to just add pre-packaged items to lunchboxes.
But consider making a weekly batch of sandwiches or banana bread, brown bread rolls, apple and cranberry bread etc. in advance and freezing in individual bags.
Just grab one straight from the freezer and add it to the lunch box. It will be defrosted by the time your child gets to eat it. If they have a very early lunch break, take it out the night before and defrost in the fridge.
Pre-cooked pasta, rice, vegetables and drinks can also be frozen and used in the same way.
#3. Cookie Cutters
Sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and cheese cut into cute shapes and decorated or not, are a great way to get children to want to eat their food, and to encourage looks of envy at their class table!
It really doesn’t take much time and the reward will be empty lunchboxes day in day out.
Need inspiration? 100 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas Kids will Love
#4. Silicone Cupcake Liners Are Not Just For Baking!
Great for cup cakes but equally good as lunchbox dividers. Add fruit, vegetables, cheese, nuts (if allowed), cooked pasta or rice, crackers etc. to individual liners and place them into the lunch box so nothing gets mixed up.
They are also reusable, so good for the environment too.
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#5. Notes and Jokes
Adding a little note or joke to the bottom of your child’s lunchbox will raise a smile and have them wanting to eat everything in it so they can find it at the bottom and see what it says.
There are loads of websites that have free printable jokes that can be cut out in advance, so you can easily choose a daily one.
Download our free Lunch Box Notes and Jokes printable sheet
#6. Lunch Box Shop Open for Business
Have a box or basket on hand to house all the lunch box items for the week so that your children, or you, can easily choose items to be added. You could also buy a container for the fridge and have bags of fruit, cheese etc. all ready to be picked out and added to lunchboxes.
Your children could have a section each, and when they are helping unpack the grocery shopping, they can add the items they chose when shopping to their section.
You may also like – Top Tips for a Healthy Lunchbox & 10 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
Who said a thermos flask is just for coffee! During colder months you could heat up leftovers. Pasta, noodles, rice and soup from the previous evening all work well. Just add them to a thermos flask for a warm lunch.
Make sure to heat for longer than usual to ensure the contents are still warm at lunchtime.
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#8. Quirky Containers
Look out for fun bags and containers to make lunch time more interesting. We found bags with files printed on them in a local store! Pretty gross, but the kids love the wow factor when they take them out of their lunchbox and their friends all think they have flies on their sandwiches.
Look out for quirky containers to make lunch time more interesting.
Check this our – 5 Kids Lunch Boxes Recommended by Parents
#9. Bread-less Sandwich Ideas
Why do sandwiches have to be made from bread? Check out our cool cucumber sub, no bread needed.
Lettuce is also great to use a wrap!
#10. Themed Lunch Boxes
Once a week why not theme your child’s lunchbox? You could use a colour so everything in there is green or red or rainbow coloured.
Or pick a country and give them food from that country or characters from a favourite film and add designs to the food to make the character, the possibilities are endless!
It may take a bit of time, but will be great fun and you will be guaranteed empty lunchboxes on that day!
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Have your say! Have you got any useful or fun lunch box ideas or hacks? Please share them with us in the comments box below.