It's that time of year again and we want to help you get back into routine, while also making your life a little easier!
1. PLAN TOGETHER
Have the kids pick out a couple sandwiches, wraps or salads and make them on a regular rotation. You can even create fun weekly menus that include "Meatless Monday" and "Turkey Tuesday" to help take thinking about what to make for lunch off your mind and also get the kids involved in their lunch routine.
2. COOL GEAR
Yes, we do believe that what's inside matters more, even when it comes to lunches, but getting the kids ready for Back-to-School sometimes includes getting some new gear. Ditch the brown paper bags and go reusable. Look for ones that are insulated to help keep their lunches cold and have removable linings for easy clean up. Check out these cute ones from TinyMe that can be customized so there is no question whose is whose.
3. MAKE SHOPPING EASIER
Planning the lunches you'll make for the week (or better yet having a set schedule like we mentioned in #1) makes shopping that much easier because you'll know what groceries you'll need to buy weekly (like bananas) and what ones you can stock up for monthly (like granola bars).
4. NO STRAWS
Reducing waste is something that everyone needs to actively be trying to do (check out our 10 Tips to Reduce Food Waste post) and one way we can do that in our kids lunches is to skip the juice boxes and pack them with reusable bottles. Bonus - it's cheaper too!
5. HAVE FUN WITH BENTO BOXES
Bento Boxes are all the rage right now. With variety and cool shapes, Bento Boxes make kids want to eat their lunches while also giving you some mommy bragging rights. From Ham Flowers to Heart Shaped Omelettes - you can learn how to make these delicious creations in our Bento Box Cooking Class with Chef Yoshimi. Take the class with your kids and learn together!
6. STOCK UP ON CONTAINERS
Get ready for the school year with reusable food containers from sandwich boxes to thermoses. These adorable reusable snack bags from Itzy Ritzy are easy to clean and take plastic baggies off your shopping list - Yay!
7. LET THEM PICK
A way to avoid having them say they didn't like what you packed that day, let them pick! Organize snacks into bins that they can quickly grab from in the morning and toss in their lunch bags. Gives them some responsibility and takes one more thing off your plate in the morning.
8. MEAL PLAN FOR BOTH OF YOU
When planning your kids meals for the week, think about things you can make in bulk that you can take for lunch too. Maybe it's a big batch of pasta salad that you make "kid-friendly", then jazz up your own portions with hot peppers and feta.
9. HAVE FUN WITH IT
If you've got the time, why not have some fun and surprise them with fun shapes in their mid-day meal. You can get these fruit and veggie cutters here.
10. GET THEM IN THE KITCHEN!
Whether it's helping making their lunches, dinner or just experimenting, get kids cooking. Not only is it a basic life skill, studies have shown that it's a great activity to help develop things like creativity and math skills. Cooking is something that also helps build relationships and connections, so this is an activity you can easily share with your kids at home. Another benefit - often children who cook are more likely to try different foods and therefore be less picky!
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