feeling like giving you 5 tips for better back to school lunches

It's almost time for back to school. Down here in Atlanta, we head back on August 12. Too bad for my seventh grader...that's her 12th birthday. Yikes. Twelve. I digress...

This post here is to give you some quick tips to packing great lunches. There's a ton of posts just like this one, and I may be hijacking some ideas, but we are all in this together, folks!

1.  Having things for lunch on hand at all times.  I am not a planner by any means. What I do plan for is having to make lunch. And dinner. And some sort of breakfast. So tip 1 is NOT planning, but having things on hand. Having things like breads, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, frozen peas, vegetables, trail mixes, traditional sandwich makings like peanut butter and jelly and cold cuts on hand makes for easy lunch packing. Yogurts and frozen yogurt pops are good too.  Over the weekend, I usually make pancakes and waffles to freeze for breakfasts...they do double duty for lunch too!

2. Make lunch the night before. I always make lunch for the next day when I get home from work. I get off around 2pm, so right after I shower, and before the kids get home from school, lunch for the next day is rearing to go.  Then I don't have to think about it in the morning before the coffee kicks in. I store it in the fridge until it needs to hit the lunchbag. If its a hot meal, I usually set out the thermos containers.  Then in the morning, I fill the thermos with hot water while I heat up the lunch.  I usually over heat it a bit so it stays hot until lunch time. I store the lunches in the fridge, but if there's something that doesn't do well with refrigeration, I place a silicone cupcake mold inside the box and leave that item out on the counter.

3. Leftovers for lunch are always easy and ready to go. Make an extra serving or two of that casserole or soup.  It can make your life a lot easier! Have your kids outgrown the decal on their expensive stainless steel food jars?  Duck tape is your best friend. And it's even been through the dishwasher safely. 

4. Lunch doesn't always have to be awesome.  But a little flair goes a long way. Since I make lunch the day before, I usually have a little more time to use picks and cookie cutters.  I don't always make creative lunches...but the presentation is usually appealing with or without the added flair.  Even one cute (mustache) pick will make my daughters feel like I took the time to make it fun, so they should take the time to eat it.  And usually they eat it all.  Sometimes I save things, like the mustache and tongue below...that was a lollipop.  But it's sturdy plastic. Why toss it out?

5. Have the right tools ready to use. Having a variety of different boxes helps a lot, too.  We have several bento-style boxes, Lunchbots, and of course, the ever popular, easy to use, long lasting, EasyLunchboxes. If you only have room in your life for one kind of lunch container...the EasyLunchboxes is the way to go.  It's the most versatile, and honestly my favorite box and the whole reason why I started this lunch making blog and method in the first place. Even if you don't add flair like using picks and cutters at all, the right box can make the meal perfect. 

Packing lunches isn't rocket science...but taking the time to prepare lunches for those you love is worthwhile.  They'll remember that you cared enough to spare them the horrors of mystery meat and hot dogs that bounce off the lunch table.  They'll remember that good lunches are just that...good. 

Good luck to you in the coming school year!  Make it count!

If you are interested in any of the products I use, click the affiliate links below, please! Anytime you purchase through one of my links, regardless of what you purchase, I get a small percentage of the sale. It's how lunchy gets paid! Thanks!


 photo c599a2ad-0552-495f-ba34-4ab820a15598_zps0f3b931b.jpgI love Bento USA for everything bento!  Click the images and go check them out!


  1. I love your duct tape makeover

  2. HA! I love what you did with our Laptop Lunches bento lunch jars! That is awesome. What a fun way to personalize them. ^_^

    1. Those are Thermos food jars...they used to have High School Musical on them. Thanks!

  3. I had to double take on the moustache & tongue - it looked like a blank 'face' with hair!
    Brilliant tips, thank you for sharing!!

  4. Tasha PhotographyAugust 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Thanks for the great ideas! My son will start 1st grade and he wants to bring his lunch so I'm thankful for all your great tips!

  5. Love the duct tape tip. My daughter scratched the faces off the princess on her thermal drink container. I'm going to show her this and see if she wants to do it to her drink container and thermos (she loves mustaches, too, BTW!)

  6. What lunch bags do you use for hte Easy Lunch Boxes. Have been trying to find good / cute ones? Karen

    1. The best bags for them are the ones that are sold with them. They're a little plain, but can be jazzed up with patches and such.


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