School lunches can be great for kids and parents. Not only does it save money, but it ensures your kids have nutritious meals.
The only problem is that you're often left scrambling the next morning to build your kids lunch or staying up late to get it done. It doesn't have to be that way. There are things you can do to make school lunches so much easier. Let's take a closer look at hacks to packing school lunches.
Just like prepping makes dinnertime easier, so does prepping items for school lunches. You can bag up chips, cut fruits and veggies and portion them out, etc. This will save you so much time. It will also make it so much easier to grab items and throw them in a bag.
Create a Lunch Station
Instead of you putting your kids' lunches together, create a lunch station. A lunch station allows your kids to quickly put together their own lunch. You want to have a bin for dairy, one for protein, one for fruits, one for veggies, and one for snacks. Your kids then just go through and grab things out of each bin. You can label each bin with how many they are supposed to grab. For example, you might write one dairy and two veggies. This allows your kids to be independent and can even be fun for them.
Make Homemade Lunchables
Lunchables have been a child favorite for decades. However, they can be so expensive and come with so little. Not only that, but you can't control what your kids are eating. When you make homemade Lunchables, you save money, can choose low-fat meat and cheese, and include a healthier dessert option, such as fruit. You can even buy Bento boxes to put them in so they are cute and fun. These divided boxes work great for so many meals.
Freeze Grapes for an Ice Pack/Snack
We've all heard the hack about freezing a water bottle or juice box for an ice pack that doesn't waste space. However, if your kids have an earlier lunch period, the drink may still be frozen. Skip that and use grapes instead. Frozen grapes taste great and will keep foods nice and cold.
Fill Bags with Air
Who wants crushed potato chips? If you're buying big bags of chips and putting them in zip top bags, add some air. This will prevent the chips from getting crushed. The same goes for cookies and any other fragile snacks.
School lunches don't have to be complicated. You can spend a bit of time getting things ready and then allow kids to pack their own bags. This will allow you to save money and give your kids healthy meals without the hassle.