Alarms are now set to a time that’s meant for sleeping, the bus arrives in 20 minutes (are the kids dressed, fed and clean?!) and you’ve resumed your second job position as [insert extracurricular] chauffeur. Yep, school is here. And we’ll admit it, it’s not always a walk in the park! But today we’re here to eliminate one undoubtedly stressful school task: packing lunches. Keep reading for tips on lunch prep, food preservation and creativity.


Prep Smarter, Not Harder

kids-pack_all-bins2_1275px.jpgAmid all the chaos of a school morning, who wants to add the hassle of packing a lunch? We sure don’t. Instead, follow our one simple tip: PREP. Here’s how:

  • Make a big batch of PB&J ahead of time and freeze them! The bread will stay fresh longer & thaw by lunchtime.
  • Set up a snack station for your kids to pick from. Put baggies of carrots, apple slices, these PB Pretzel Bites, string cheese, crackers, etc. in a bin in the fridge. Then when it comes time to pack lunches, your kids can simply grab what they want and head out the door!
  • This one’s easy: make lunches at night, not in the morning. Put them in the fridge and grab & go in the A.M.
  • Heat up soup, like our recipe for Homemade Chicken Noodle or Sausage Orzo, before your kids leave and put it in a thermos to keep warm. Pro Tip: preheat your thermos, aka put boiling water in it and then dump out before adding the soup. It will keep your thermos warm longer!


Food Hacks

7965857646_9a75414c9e.jpgThe last thing you want your little one to encounter at lunchtime is a soggy sandwich, warm milk and browned fruit! But, don’t worry. We have a few tricks up our sleeve to fight the inevitable evils of packed lunch.

  • Soak apple slices in orange juice and a little bit of lemon the night before to prevent from browning. Or, slice your apple and place a rubber band around it (basically put the apple back together) and it won’t brown!
  • Freeze juice boxes & use as ice packs for the next day.
  • Hate when food touches each other? Use a divided container & further separate everything with cupcake liners.
  • Pack our School Lunch Sammies, but instead of spreading the condiments, pack them separately (no soggy bread). Another hack: spread a little bit of butter on both slices before adding mayo/mustard.
  • Tiny hands sometimes have a tough time peeling bananas; cut a little slice in the banana to make it easier.


Go the Extra Mile  

pinterestmom_lead_123RF.jpgSchool can be tough, especially for our little learners. Here’s a few ways to brighten your kid’s day at lunchtime (and earn yourself a gold star in overachieving parent class):

  • Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, fruit and cheese in fun shapes. It’s a creative way to remove the crusts & only takes an extra minute or two. Try it with our recipe for PB&J on a Stick!
  • If your child’s birthday falls on a school day, wrap each food item in their lunchbox.
  • Add cute faces to baggies of carrots, fruit, etc. using stickers


Packing school lunches doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow some of our helpful tips! And before you get packing and prepping, head to your local Sparkle Market for all of the fresh ingredients you need to make this school year a success.