Love at first bite: how to re-energize packing school lunches!

August is coming to a rapid close and back-to-school is on the horizon. Which means: back to packing lunches. This September, we’ve vowed not to be so easily defeated by lunch packing fatigue. Nope, this year we’re ready to shake things up - to amp up the creativity and let the kids play a bigger role.

Photo credit: BlenderBottle GoStak

Looking for ways to shake up your school lunch packing? We've recently discovered some tools and options that are sure to add a little zip to your kiddo's lunches. The first bite is with the eyes, they say - and in this case, your kids are sure to agree!

  1. Honestly, we don’t like to get too faddy around here, but when we recently discovered these GoStak containers, we kinda freaked out. These are a great, visually appealing way to pack at least four different snacks of your child’s choice in one easy-to-tote spot. While they're perfect as-is for treats like cut-up fruits, chopped veggies, crackers, crispy snap peas, drained chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, or dried fruits; you can get even more storage out of them by slipping in a silicone muffin cup as a divider to help fit two separate snack items in one cup. Bonus: These give your child quick and easy access to a variety of options during recess and lunch.   
  2. This year, we’re going to be more intentional about creating dinners that can be turned into lunches (watch for an upcoming blog on this!). This is all part of our goal to avoid meal fatigue. But what to do if you've got kids who like to keep their foods separate- i.e. keep the rice and noodles away from the sauce? Voila, the three layer stackable stainless steel bento! For foods like chili, rice, and grated cheese, or stir-fries, curries, and soups, you can keep foods separate, warm, appealing - and darn cute. For inspiration, here are some fresh fall dinners we love.
  3. Ensuring perishable foods like smoothies, yogurt and cheese stay properly chilled can be a bit of a hassle. Try this handy trick: just pop these items into the freezer for 45 minutes before school (they’ll be perfect by lunch time) or pack them beside a chilled gel pack to help them stay cool. For yogurt or dairy drinks, the freezer koozie works great, as do these popsicle molds (bonus: you can fill them with mixed nuts or veggies if you're not toting a smoothie that day.) For inspiration, check out some of our favourite smoothie recipes here!

Need more lunch-packing inspiration? We love this tip round-up for levelling up your lunch strategy. And, we reached out to local BC personalities Meeru Dhalwala and Kia Robertson a while back for their tips on packing lunches, and here’s what they told us. Happy back-to-school!

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