Let’s be truthful. Preparing lunch boxes are not moms’ favorite chore of the day, however, having a guideline of lunch box essentials does help and make us more efficient at it. Although, I am not one of those moms who is very creative at making cute figurines out of sandwiches or get very decorative with food, I try my best to make my lunch box food taste good, fun and healthy! 😉
Parents try hard at the lunch box game so let me share my list of lunch box essentials to make its preparation an easier task for busy moms. My only challenge is that my children prefer by far hot meals than cold ones, which leaves sandwiches null and void. ;(
Therefore, I have to play with key foods that I can send cooked. By the way, I make my lunch boxes in the morning, not the night before so I have gotten good at this by keeping the menu simple and following the Food Pyramid, which basically, tells me I need to have 6 items at most, in the lunch box.
Lunch Box Essentials for Back to School Plus Ideas
- Drinks. The less options, the better. I provide my children with 2 basic options: water or milk, and depending on the menu of the day, I will choose the best accompaniment of the 2.
- Fruits. Go with hard skin fruits. I usually go with fruits that won’t go bad in the lunch box such as clementines, apples, pears, etc. I stay away from berries and bananas too (they tend to ripe faster contained in a lunch box.)
- Veggies. Go with strong vegetables or greens. I usually send them veggies that are strong and maintain themselves fresh in the lunch box such as carrots, broccoli and uncooked spinach leaves, or cooked mini potatoes (aka, creamers.)
- Crackers/Cereals. As snacks, include crackers like Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Crackers that are baked with real cheese. Of all the other choices out there, I find them to be the healthiest. They are also my kids’ favorite in any of their variety of flavors. As part of the main meal, I may include pasta or rice.
- Dairies. Add yogurt or cheese which are always the best in this category, unless you send milk as their drink.
- Sweets. Give them a treat! Sweets are in the food pyramid, and not one that I am fond of to send in the lunch boxes, but, undoubtedly, is the majority of the kids’ favorite part of their meals. Luckily, sweets and candy makers have come out with “bite” sizes, which makes them more attractive to include in the lunch boxes. So, I include 1-2 bite size chocolate or a few mini cookies.
- Proteins. In this department, I usually send hot foods such as beans/lentils/chickpeas, meatballs, chicken nuggets, fish sticks that I quickly bake in the oven. In the cooked meal department I also include pasta with a meat sauce (prepared days before as the beans) or any other sauce that may include 1-2 foods of the pyramid.
- Wet Ones® singles. Include 1 or 2. Wet Ones® singles toilettes are a necessity in every kid’s school lunch box. Wet Ones® singles clean their hands killing 99.9% of germs and leaving their hands fresh and odorless from smelly foods. They are ideal to include in their lunch boxes.
- Accessories & extras: Include napkins and flatware, if needed. Don’t include many loose parts or expensive containers because kids will lose them.
Adding a Personal and Fun Touch to Your Lunch Boxes
Packing interesting, nutritious, and kid approved lunches five days a week is an art many moms are still working to master. Keeping it simple, sticking to the Food Pyramid and adding finally a personal and fun touch is for me, a perfect lunch box, and thus, my 3 biggest advices to busy moms.
As you can see in the image above, I love using lunch boxes in bright attractive colors, but also allow my children to choose their own. I include a little message, the Wet Ones® Singles and their GoldFish® Crackers in the visible little pouch so that they don’t forget about them. I also like to use plastic bags that are labeled as “Snacks,” “Have Nice Day, ” “Let’s Eat” to get them enthusiastic about their lunch. A personal note or a sticker of their favorite character or sport also gets them interested.
A lunch box prepared with love, always tastes better!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones®. The opinions and text are all mine.