Last week I shared my top tips for Morning Success with kids when you are a night owl like me. In it, I mentioned about getting prepared the night before when you do have the energy and mentioned a little about the lunch prep that I do. Following on from that I wanted to share some of my recommendations for Lunch Box Essentials for Busy Moms.
Related Article - Back to School Essentials for Moms
To make it easy for you I've split up my list into different sections and do check out my lunch box board on Pinterest where I pin ideas for Lunches and After School Treats for kids of all ages.
Lunch Boxes and Bags
I'm not including any character style items in this list because if your kids are anything like mine then basically what they like this month by the time the summer comes around they will have gone off of and moaning that they don't want to take their lunchbox to school as the character is so not cool!
Instead, these boxes and bags are fun and great for keeping the food cool in hot lunchrooms and classrooms. However, if your kids are heart set on a style of lunch box then why not get this 3 Pack Bento Box Lunch Box Set that means you can easily pack it the night before set it up and just slot into their lunch bag the next morning.
This Thermos Essentials Standard Lunch Kit, Midnight Blue will keep food cool or warm throughout the morning plus it's easy to wipe clean and will last a while - in fact I could pack it for myself and take on the train or bus if I'm heading somewhere as well.
Storage space for your lunchbox essentials can be an issue and this Lunch Essentials Orange Collapsible Silicone Lunch Box with Spork maybe just the thing that you need. As it comes with a spork you won't have to remember to add an extra fork or spoon in first thing in the morning either.
Reusable is good - eco-friendly is even better in my eyes and these Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Safe Lunch Bags - Set of 4 solve the problem that I have found with fabric sandwich bags as these can go in the dishwasher and will then dry quickly.
My daughter likes for her stuff to be pretty and this Thermal Waterproof Lunch Tote Flowers fits the bill perfectly plus I could steal it from her for my occasional outings where I need to a packed lunch as well.
Keeping the lunches cool!
As I said above classrooms and lunchrooms can be HOT even in winter but summer it's just unbearable. Nothing is worse than a yogurt that has started to turn because it's overheated. So putting in an ice block is a solution but they can be big and bulky and there are so many fun ice packs that you could use instead.
There isn't always a lot of room in kids lunchboxes so these Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Packs, Multicolored - Set of 4 are great as they don't take up a lot of space. I like that they come in a set of 4 - One in each of the kid's lunch boxes and the other 2 freezing so you can switch them over easily.
Ready to go
Yes, you can buy the sets separately and start to make up your own designer lunchbox system but I did say that this was for busy moms. So how about going for a complete set like this Insulated Designer Lunch Bag with Ice Pack, Pink & Black Chandelier which is so pretty I think I would have taken it to work with me a few years ago.
Keeping food hot or cold
My children have just discovered soups and they are asking whether they could take them to school, but keeping them hot would be nearly impossible if I didn't have something that would work well especially as they leave the house at 8:30 am and lunch for them doesn't happen till after 12 - at least 3 and a half hours later.
- THERMOS FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar, Charcoal Teal
- Thermos Funtainer 10 Ounce Food Jar, Purple
- Lunch Bento Box Insulated Multilayer Style
- Lunch & Munch Cold and Hot Blue Thermos
- THERMOS FOOGO Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Straw Bottle, Pink/Purple
Try these Lunch Ideas with your kids:
Making Sandwiches Fun
So confession time - I've never got into the whole fun kid's lunch box the nearest I got was making shaped sandwiches using my cookie cutters but there was so much waste. That was until I discovered Sandwich Cutters - gets rid of the crusts that my kids wouldn't eat until fairly recently and makes them fun as well. Here are some of my favorites.
So if you are just starting out then this Fun Sandwich and Bread Cutter Shapes for kids - 9 Crust & Cookie Cutters has lots of different shapes including hearts, butterflies, dinosaurs, and cars.
Of course, not everyone wants the cute panda's so the Affordable Sandwich Sealer n Decruster produces plain sealed sandwiches perfect for anyone.
The sealed sandwiches though are such a great idea and when they have a double purpose like this set Boiled Egg Sushi Rice Mould - 6 Pcs which can also be used for sushi rice or shaped boiled eggs.
Two more Essentials for your Kids Lunchboxes
Just two more essentials the first you know they are going to need a set of 5 reusable cloth napkins because let's face it kids get messy.
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