Back to school lunches stressing you out? These lunch box hacks will make life easier and streamline your already busy mornings. No more scrambling 10 minutes before the kids need to be out the door trying to figure out what to pack for lunch and no more packing junk filled lunches that are more convenient than healthy. These healthy lunch tips will help remove the stress from back to school season and school mornings!
Ahh, tis the season — time to start stressing about lunch boxes, permission slips, and science project due tomorrow. Back to school is a blessing and a curse — the routine and having the kids out of the house is awesome, but the added responsibilities can be a total pain.
(This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I only work with brands I really, truly believe will benefit you! Thank you for supporting Morgan Manages Mommyhood!)
7 Can’t Miss Lunch Box Hacks
While it’s no surprise that I love making fun lunches for my boys, there are definitely days and weeks and months during the school year that I just want to get some food in a lunch box and get them in the car in one piece — for those days, I love having these lunch box hacks on hand for making life easier.
Lunch box hack #1: DIY ants on a log
Anyone else love ants on a log as a kid? Celery spread with almond butter and topped with chocolate chips, raisins, or dried cranberries is pretty much the only way I can get my boys to eat celery, but it’s kind of a pain to send to school and too time consuming to put together on busy mornings.
Let your kiddos DIY the ants on a log but sending them cut celery and almond butter topped with “ants” to school in small reusable containers. Bonus: you can easily package up a week’s worth of these during meal prep and just toss them into lunch boxes the night before.
Lunch box hack #2: Make snacks in bulk
On the same page as the ants on a log, do these things once a week — package up snacks into baggies as soon as you get home instead of doing it 5 times a week! This helps cut down on the time you’re spending putting lunches together and give you more time in the mornings to do the important things —- like drink your coffee while it’s still hot!
Lunch box hack #3: Write a sweet note
Lunch box notes are so fun, but I never find the time to find, print, and cut the adorable ones I see on Pinterest. I’m more low key so I tend to write notes on plastic baggies, the packaging for cheese sticks, and fruit with inedible skins. (bananas, oranges) This way, not only are you showing your kiddos you were thinking of them, BUT there’s no way they’ll miss the note.
For kiddos too little to read, I love placing stickers on the bags for a little fun — Owen especially loves this!
Lunch box hack #4: Freeze Juice
If you’re like me, you never remember to return ice packs back to the freezer and come Monday morning you’re totally lost. Next time, throw a pack of juice boxes into the freezer when you get home from the store. A pack of 10 will last you a week with 2 kids, and the juice will keep lunches cool as it defrosts.
Lunch box hack #5: Assemble the night before
I’m pretty sure the reason more people cannot stand making lunches is because school mornings are stressful as it is. Everyone is a little tired and cranky, and there’s a finite timeline for when everyone needs to be ready, dressed, and out the door. Adding another task to that list? Ugh. That’s why I can’t suggest assembling lunches the night before more. This way you can just grab fully packed lunch boxes out of the fridge and head out the door at a moment’s notice.
Lunch box hack #6 : Homemade Peanut Free Freeze sandwiches
When we realized Ryan’s school was peanut free, I’ll admit — I was a little anxious. Ryan does not eat sandwiches — lunch meat is just not his thing. So his go to is PB&J, and again, I’ll admit — I was really hoping I could just toss in those freezer PB&J’s on busy mornings. But alas — no peanuts in his school means no store bought PB&J’s.
A blessing in disguise, I was able to learn how to make them myself (it’s super easy, promise) so I wasn’t spending a billion dollars a year on them. Win!
Make these almond butter and jelly freezer sandwiches using Lindsay Almond Butter —- I love it best because unlike other almond butters I’ve found on the market that are gritty and too liquidy, Lindsay has a similar texture to your favorite peanut butter. You’ll also want a soft bread, since that seems to be the easiest to work with. Press each slice a bit to make it easier to press together.
If you want to do a fun shape, cut your bread with a cookie cutter — if not cut both slices stacked with a knife. Spread both sides with your Lindsay Almond Butter, leaving 1/4 inch or so on the edges. Add a thin layer of jelly, marshmallows, mini chips — whatever you like — and sandwich before pressing the edges with the tines of a fork. My favorite part about these is you can make a whole loaf of bread and freeze, which really helps when it comes to putting lunches together quickly — they even act like an ice pack for the lunch and defrost by lunch time.
Lunch box hack #7: Stock up on peanut free faves
If your kiddo goes to a peanut free school like we do, it’s important to stock up on peanut free snacks that are both delicious and compliant. I love Lindsay not just because they offer seriously the most kid friendly almond butter (the honey cinnamon is to die for, guys!) but because I adore their other products — my boys gobble up the black olives and I add the giardiniera and roasted red peppers to everything from sandwiches to salads. Heck, I’ve been known to go at the jar with a fork, people.
Bonus: Lindsay is hosting a super fun contest starting 8/14 where they’re calling for everyone to share their Ultimate Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Enter here to win a chance to try out the Lindsay Almond Butters!
How do you make the perfect almond butter and jelly sandwich? Let us know! 1 grand prize winner gets an Almond Butter prize pack with a $100 Visa gift card and all 3 new Lindsay almond butter flavors. 50 runners-up will get a coupon for free Almond Butter!
Okay so tell me — does your kiddo go to a peanut free school? What’s your favorite lunch box hacks? Let me know in the comments!
Got a picky eater?
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