Reinventing the Lunch Box

Lunch Box Ideas

Join us for our 8 week series on “Reinventing the Lunch Box.”  We will go from selecting the right “hardware” to recipes, tips and tricks for packing a lunch beyond the sandwich.

Even though summer is only half over, I know many parents are already thinking of school days ahead.  Soon the slower paced days of summer will be replaced by hurried mornings, homework and packing lunches.

But lunch doesn’t have to be same old same old! There are lots of ways you can make it special and put a little more love into it starting with the lunchbox.

Do you have everything you need to be a rock star mom when it comes to filling your child’s brown bag with creativity? Here is some of the gear you might need to put some “mmmph” into those PBJ’s.

packit

Lunch Bag or Lunch Box Ideas

There are a ton of options out there to choose from, insulated cooler type bags, purse style, character bags, and backpack lunch bags. No matter what you chose make sure included these features:

  • Plenty of space. You’ll need room for a drink and several containers.
  • Easy to clean. Obviously you want a bag that’s wipe and go, and maybe for external messes can go in the washer for an occasional clean up.
  • Insulated. You want to keep your child’s lunch cool through lunchtime, not only will foods taste better but, keeping foods properly chilled will keep them from spoiling and possible making kids sick.

I really like the bags by PackIt.  The entire bag is a cold pack. Just fold it flat and put it in the freezer overnight, this will really keep food fresh until ready to eat.

Rubbermaid Lunch Container Kit

Lunch Containers

You will want several different types of plastic containers to add variety to your child’s lunch and hold multiple kinds of foods.  They are great for portioning out fruit, chips, pretzels, small sandwiches, pasta, or a small sweet.

I bought these Rubbermaid containers last year and I really love how you can use some or all, they snap together and have an ice pack that joins them all together keeping everything evenly cool.

Another way to go are Bento style boxes, like Easy Lunchboxes.  A traditional bento box, according to Wikipedia is “a single portion takeout or home packed meal common in Japanese cuisine.” A quick look at Pinterest will show you the more Americanized version, usually a single container with multiple sections, creatively done in every theme you can imagine. These are tucked into your insulated cooler.

You also can find a variety of cute, inexpensive ones at Dollar Tree, Target, or Walmart in all different sizes.

LunchBots Insulated Container

Thermos Lunch Options

Thermos’ are a great way to transport soups, leftovers, and anything else you want to maintain its temperature throughout the day. There are ton of options here to consider! Solid colors, prints, and popular characters. Occasionally they even pop up at thrift stores and yard sales so keep an eye out!

School Lunches Cookie Cutters

Other Lunch Box Essentials

A good ice pack is necessary to keep your child’s lunch tasty and safe make sure you invest in a good ice pack that will work together with your insulated bag to keep everything cool until lunch. Here are several options to choose from.

Reusable sandwich and snack bags. While these can be a bit pricey, they will actually save you money in the long run and keep plastic baggies out of the landfills. Again there is an abundant amount of choices when it comes to colors, and styles. Check out this sweet set.

Cookie cutters may not be a necessity but a little effort can turn plain old sandwiches, cheese, breads, pancakes, cookies, tortillas, and more into works of art. You can start with a simple set like this and add on as you go.

Delight your child by creating themed lunches for the first day of school, holidays, birthdays, or your child’s interests and hobbies.

Free Menu Planning Printables DownloadsDownload our Free Menu Planning Printables HERE

And last but not least..Have a Plan!

Just like menu planning can save you time and money on dinner, a plan for lunch will make your life a little easier. Create a plan that works for YOU! Maybe twice a week will be sandwiches, once a week pasta, have a leftover day, lunch on a stick, etc. Whatever you do make sure you include; whole grains, fruits and or vegetables, dairy and protein in every lunch. Those little bodies and minds need fuel to keep them going all day!

Find LUNCH Recipes HERE

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on July 16, 2013

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