Can it be…back to school time already?! With Labor Day just around the corner, it’s time to start planning and preparing for the fall semester. And for parents with young kids, this means staying on top of school schedules, expertly packing lunches, planning weeknight meals, arranging carpools, and facilitating afterschool activities such as children’s sporting events.
To help lighten the load and make back-to-school meal prep fun, take a look through these Creative Lunchbox Hacks. (No more soggy sandwiches! No more crushed chips!)
You and your children will both appreciate these simple tips designed to make mealtime a breeze.
10 Creative Lunchbox Hacks:
- Pre-slice and core an apple, then secure it with a rubber band to prevent it from browning. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap for an extra layer of protection.
Pre-sliced apple held together with a rubber band.
- Use a straw to blow air into a plastic snack bag prior to sealing to prevent your snacks from getting crushed during transport.
Prevent your chips from getting crushed by filling the bag with air.
- Try these tips to ensure your sandwich stays fresh:
- Toast your bread first to help prevent it from getting soggy.
- Add condiments (like mustard and mayo) in between slices of meat or cheese, rather than to the bread, to prevent it from getting soggy.
- Dry produce, such as lettuce, thoroughly before adding to the sandwich to ensure there’s no additional moisture.
- Place juicy ingredients like sliced tomatoes in the center of the sandwich. (You can also use lettuce as a barrier between the bread and “wet” fillings; this works great for chicken, tuna, or egg salad sandwiches.)
Simple tips for keeping your sandwich from getting soggy!
- Pack hot or grilled sandwiches inside aluminum foil to keep them warm, or if you have access to an oven come lunch/snack time, you can toss it directly in the oven to warm it back up. For cold sandwiches, try wrapping then in parchment paper, which can also act as a place mat when you unfold it.
Toasted sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Use a bento box filled with deconstructed sandwich elements to create a DIY lunchable. Find some creative examples at: https://potatorolls.com/blog/best-lunch-ever.
Pepperoni Pizza Stackers with Martin’s Potato Bread.
- Store your sandwich in a plastic bag or container to prevent contamination of smells or flavors from other foods in your lunchbox.
Bologna and Cheese Sandwich on Martin’s Potato Bread
- Create a lunch station in your fridge or pantry by pre-packing and organizing snacks, entrees, fruits & veggies, drinks, and desserts. Then allow your kids to build their own lunch by selecting from the various options. Check out this article for more tips.
Easy lunch ideas with fridge organization; Image from https://musthavemom.com
- Freeze a drink pouch, juice box, or tube of yogurt to act as an ice pack in your lunch box. Come lunch or snack time it should be thawed enough for you to enjoy a nice, cold drink or snack. (You can also freeze a wet sponge to create a DIY ice pack.)
Frozen juice boxes, drink pouches, and yogurt tubes make great DIY ice packs!
- Pack soft sandwiches or snacks inside a hard plastic container to prevent them from getting squished in your lunchbox.
A sturdy sandwich container keeps this Classic PB&J on Martin’s Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread safe and secure until lunch time!
- Use plastic containers or cupcake liners to separate various elements of your lunch. Check out this post for some more great ideas: https://potatorolls.com/blog/back-to-school-primary.
Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff with berries, pretzels, cookies, and juice makes a fun and delicious school lunch!
Need some lunch or snacktime recipe inspiration?
Try these great ideas:
- Bacon Cream Cheese Bites – A quick after-school snack before sports practice!
- Peanut Butter Pockets – Peanut butter is a great protein booster!
- Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups – Lean protein and carbs help to refuel your body after a game.
Prepping snacks for after-school activities?
Check out these helpful resources for more ideas:
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