More packed lunch hacks by Andressa Hara of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party. Photos by Andressa Hara.
Thanks to all that participated in sharing their lunch packing hacks (see comments section of Back to School Giveaway). We loved reading through all of your ideas and tips. Packing lunches must be one of the worst chores ever! Don’t you agree? Yet, we all recognize the importance of a healthy and delicious mid-day meal. A little hack here and there to remove some of the pain is crucial. We read all your comments and picked up a tip or two. We are happy to share some of our favorite lunch packing hacks:
Prep and serve:
Molly B : Prepping veggies and fruits ahead of time makes lunch packing a breeze.
Stephanie: Pre-cuttting veggies and fruit ahead of time!
Angela: I cut up a bunch of fruit on Sunday evenings so that it is quicker packing in the morning!
Erin: We created a snack zone in our pantry & fridge – it makes filling the yum boxes and snack bags so much easier!
Gina: Having a plan for the week for lunches makes life a little easier.
Kari: Packing lunches the night before and utilizing leftovers.
Amanda: The best lunch-packing thing I ever did was make up a list to hang on the refrigerator that includes all the possible lunch options divided into categories. The kids pick one item from each category and pack their own balanced, healthy lunches!
Elizabeth: Assigning days of the week to a food theme – Monday Finger Foods (cheese cubes, crackers, bite-size fruits/veggies), Tuesday Tuna (or chicken salad/egg salad sandwich/wrap, side salad), Wednesday Breakfast (yogurt, muffin, fruit), Thursday Thermos (soup, leftovers), Friday Favorite (kids’ favorite- pb&j, cheese/salami, etc).
Sarah M: My favorite lunch hack is to make homemade uncrustables and freeze them ahead of time. I also freeze yogurt, and applesauce, so that it keeps everything else cold as it thaws.
Leslie H: Fave hack: stocking up on non-perishables liked dried fruit and pretzels so I always have enough variety to fill the lunchbox if the fridge is bare.
Make it cute!
Colleen: Packing bite sized foods like blueberries, grapes, popcorn, cheese cubes.
Amber Hernandez: I like to use silicone cupcake liners in the compartments to bring more color to the foods in them. Also packing a wide variety of colorful foods makes it more fun to eat as well!
Barbara Mayes: packing lunches the night before so there is no rushing and you can be more creative. also if you add an encouraging note to their lunch it makes them smile!
Justina: Cutting things into shapes has helped with things my child might not normally go to but if it’s in the shape of a car no questions it’s gone!!
Nicole: My favorite lunch box hack is homemade “lunchables” cutting meats and cheeses into fun shapes
Get kids involved!
Erica Solomon: My kids pack their snacks, I do the main food. I am excited to try bento style for my youngest going to preschool next month.
Kimberly: My favorite packed lunch hack is having the girls participate in packing their lunch the night before. Saves soooooo much time in the morning. (if they forget and complain about their lunch the next day, a gentle reminder that they can participate in packing their lunch the night before reminds them to take ownership over it and gives some control back to them.)
Sarah Gross: We like to have the kids help so they cut sandwich/cheese/fruit into fun shapes.
Laura: My favorite tip/hack is to involve my kids in packing their Yumboxes. They get to choose a variety of foods and the suggestions in the sections help them learn about balancing their diets.
Miriam Matheny: My trick for lunchbox packing is having a few different choices for each food group and letting my kids pick one from each group. It makes them feel in charge and gives them the age appropriate responsibility of packing the lunchbox themselves.
Creative ways to keep foods cold:
Anita Sears: Yumbox is the BEST! Fav hack is using frozen sponges in ziplock bags or frozen yogurt/drinks as ice packs.
Chrissy M: Love to pack frozen yogurt in the lunchbox. Helps keep food cold and thaws out just in time for lunch.
Tiffany: I freeze yogurt tubes and cheese sticks so when I put them in the lunches they stay cold and are thawed by lunchtime.
Daisy: putting frozen items like peas or croissants that I buy in bulk and keep in freezer. They defrost by the time they get to lunch!
Mary Katherine jimenez: We love to put frozen water as a cold pack. ThT way they can drink it when it Is time for lunch.
Easy, healthy go to recipes on rotate:
Rachel Bogdan: Vegan turkey rolls with carrot sticks and grapes.
Lauren W: My kids love pasta salads for lunch! It’s an easy way to have veggies, protein and starch all in one dish!
Rachel Smith: My favorite hack is making sandwiches in bulk and freezing them, such a time saver and they thaw by lunch time!
Karen: The kids love it when I put Nutella in the round “sauce” section for an extra treat to have with apple slices. I love that everything stays in its desired section and does not leak!!!
Monica Duncan: I like making homemade lunchable type snacks with easy to eat fruit and freeze dried veggies (like okra or green beans) and it’s a win for the kids. If we had roast chicken for dinner I also sometimes make quick chicken quesadillas to add to their lunches, and if I add some sour cream in a little container the kids love it. Sliced hot dogs and a container of ketchup is loved as well. Or strawberries and yogurt to dip them in. So making things fun and easy to eat, and having a dipping option is a plus! Which makes containers necessary.
Anthony: My son is a very picky eater so i made up a list of foods for kindergarten. He loves shreddes chicken, fresh berries, carrots with ranch and chips with salsa or hummus. Sandwiches are not well liked by him so i am hoping he will like a pinwheel wrap. We have some experimenting to do in the next couple of weeks!
Pam: Our go to lunches are baked chicken nuggets, fruit, and carrots. We also enjoy leftover tacos but with tortilla chips.
Amie Daniels: I pack a “momable” instead of a lunchable. I’m able to make them cheaper and control the quality of the ingredients! !
Use the right lunch box container:
Jacqueline Jackson: Honestly, using our Yumbox is my lunch planning hack! Having the compartments makes it so easy to just fill each with a different food group (fruits,
Veggies, protein) and you’re ready to go. My child loves his lunch box. Thanks for making packing a healthy lunch easy.
Dayna: I hated packing lunches before Yumbox. Mainly being limited on what you could pack with standard plastic baggies. Now I can send in so many more fresh food options and know the compartments wont leak! I’ve nearly forgotten how to pack a sack lunch!
Kristyn: Having an easily distracted eater, yumbox is perfect! He can open every section at the same time. This was the only product to result in a fully eaten lunch instead of coming home with only one container opened and eaten from. Thank you Yumbox! Love this product for serving fresh and healthy lunches to my kiddos!
Diana: I’m a working mom and I had always struggled with how much food to pack my kids for lunch. When I discovered Yumbox it became a lot more easier to pack lunches. Its design helps you to just pack the right amount of food for lunches and packing lunches are a lot of fun. To be honest, after a long day at work, packing my kids lunch in their Yumbox is like a stress reliever for me; plus kids love how creative their lunches end up being. We love our Yumboxes and we would love to add more to our collection.
Serena: Yumbox is the hack! It reminds me to give the kids all the stuff and they love the variety.