Do you find yourself a victim of the morning rush every time you pack your kid’s lunch? Have you noticed your youngster returning home with their lunch box still intact?
If you’ve provided an affirmative answer to either of these questions, it’s time to get more creative and make the lunch moment work best for both of you.
Our tried-and-tested lunch box hacks will save you the morning headache and transform your child’s lunchbox into a treasure trove of meals they’ll always be eager to enjoy. Buckle up as we take you through 17 creative lunch box ideas to try out!
17 Creative Lunch Box Hacks For Moms
With a bit of creativity, you can revolutionize your child’s midday meal game. Here are some clever tips to make mealtimes a wonderful experience for you and the little one!
1. Pack What You Can Early
As a mom, you already know that packing your child’s lunch under the pressure of a ticking clock isn’t the best feeling.
How about adding to the lunchbox everything you can the night before? It will still leave you with some work to do in the morning, but you’ll have taken much weight off your morning routine.
So, do everything doable the night before. Much of the food can be packed at this time. Pop in that piece of fruit, fill the water bottle, and do any other work that doesn’t have to wait until morning.
2. Opt For Weekly Chopping
If you’ve been doing the chopping every day, it’s time to start doing it differently. Pick one day of the week and make it your chopping day. On it, cut enough snacks to last you the whole week.
It will ensure that you have less to do every morning and that your child will never go to school without a piece of melon, cheese, or any other favorite snack that can be pre-chopped.
3. Get A Chalkboard Lunch Box
Who wouldn’t be eager to open a lunchbox where their mama left a special message or a lovely drawing for them?
Well, your little one would definitely be, and a chalkboard lunchbox will allow you to write a message that puts a smile on your little one’s face when they’re at school.
Lunch moments don’t have to be boring, and a chalkboard lunchbox makes them more fun. Plus, you can use the chalkboard lunch box to write a quick reminder to your child, like “Don’t forget to bring home your library book.” I mean, there are so many benefits to embracing this hack!
4. Use Food Thermos
If your child comes home with uneaten pasta dishes, meatballs, stew, or soup, it could be because they find the cold food less attractive. Use a food thermos to keep their lunch warm.
Food thermoses come in all sorts of styles, shapes, and sizes, so choose one that you think is perfect for your little one. Of course, get a quality one that can maintain their food warm until lunchtime.
5. Freeze The Juice Box
Most kids love juice boxes, and perhaps your child belongs to this category. If so, have you ever thought of freezing it? If not, that’s one of the hacks you should start practicing.
Popping a juice box in the freezer the whole night will ensure your little one gets a refreshing and icy-cold drink for the next day.
But that’s not all – a frozen juice box can double up as ice cubes for keeping everything else chilled until lunchtime.
Of course, by the time lunch turns around, the juice box will have melted and be ready to serve as a refreshing drink!
6. Cute Banana Messages
Why not show some love and add a bit of whimsy to your kid’s lunch using sweet banana messages?
You don’t need to be an artist to execute this hack perfectly! Just pick a cocktail stick or a toothpick and use it to punch holes into the banana skin to spell out your day’s special message to your child.
Your little one will appreciate the effort and creativity you put into writing a message as simple as “I love you” or “Smile” and it will set the perfect mood for everything else inside the lunchbox. Plus, bananas are readily available and healthy too!
7. A Little More Of Dinner
If you’re finding it difficult to invent new exciting lunch ideas, why not prepare extra roast chicken, potato salad, or tacos during today’s dinner?
As long as your child is okay with leftovers from the previous dinner, using this food as part of their lunchbox is a great way to save the hassle of finding what to pack for their lunch.
Plus, including part of the dinner in their lunchbox is a great way to save money on groceries, prevent food wastage, and ensure your youngster gets a well-rounded meal.
8. Homemade Lunchables
If your little one is anything like other kids, they probably love Lunchables. But hey, how about inventing your DIY Lunchables?
I mean, they barely take time to prepare, cost much less, and you can customize them to your child’s liking. Plus, you won’t need the 100+ questionable ingredients that go into the Lunchables you buy.
9. Wash The Lunchbox Early
We’ve all been there – you pick up your little one’s lunchbox Monday morning, ready to pack for them something for the day, only to find leftovers from their Friday lunch! It happens to the best of us parents.
But how about avoiding all that by washing the lunchbox when they come from school? Just soak it in warm water and scrub it clean. It will save you some minutes in the morning and ensure your child’s lunch is always in a clean and hygienic lunchbox!
10. Stick A Family Photo Inside Lunch Boxes
If you’re looking for a way to add some personal touch to your kid’s lunchbox, why not consider sticking a family photo on the interior of the lunchbox? It’s a simple way to remind your little one how much you love, care, and think about them even when they’re not around you.
Use a photo of a favorite memory or one for the whole family and stick it to the inside of their lunchboxes using tape or a magnetic clip. It will ease them of any separation anxiety they could have while at school.
11. Breakfast As Lunch
Apart from last night’s dinner, you can use breakfast as lunch. Breakfasts aren’t just for mornings! The pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, or breakfast burritos you prepared in the morning would have been a great lunch for your kid.
So, ensure that you try mixing things up from time to time! Using breakfast for lunch is a great way to switch up your child’s lunch routine and, at the same time, ensure that they enjoy healthy and nutritious meal while at school.
12. Make Them Part Of The Preparation
If you have one finicky eater, why not consider making them part of the preparation process? Have them develop a week-long menu of what they’d love to have for lunch, and even let them accompany you to the grocery store for shopping.
If they’re big enough and love cooking, have them prepare their own food. Most kids will enjoy eating what they’ve prepared by themselves. Plus, it’s a great way to encourage responsibility and independence in your child right at a young age. But, of course, be there to supervise everything!
13. Dips Are King
Most kids will appreciate dips as part of their lunch. In fact, if your little one has been ignoring vegetables and other healthy food in their lunchboxes, one way to lure them into eating whatever you include is to introduce dips.
Whether classic hummus, guacamole, savory bean, or yogurt-based, dips are generally a game-changer and a vital component that needs not miss in your child’s lunchbox.
Sure, sending them in lunchboxes can be tricky, but the market has many options providing clever ways of doing that.
14. Compartmentalized Bentgo Lunchboxes
Do you mix everything in the lunchbox? It’s okay to do so if your child is on board with it.
But hey, let’s be honest – some things just don’t belong mixed together. For example, having that sausage in its compartment would have been much better than sending it soaked in fruit juice.
So, separate everything in the lunchbox. A compartmentalized Bentgo Lunchbox will help keep everything organized.
In fact, the multiple compartments will encourage you to include even more varieties so that your youngster will enjoy a well-rounded diet at the end of the day.
15. Work With Their Favorites
Sometimes getting the little ones to eat anything can be a challenge, let alone a healthy lunch. That’s why when preparing their lunchbox, it’s always a good idea to work with what they love.
Does your child love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? No problem! Include that, and try sneaking in some apple slices and maybe yogurt for a well-rounded meal. The goal is to have your child benefit healthwise and enjoy whatever you pack for lunch.
16. Stick To Varieties
Every child has a favorite meal. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it every day. Variety is the spice of life, so switch things up to keep them from getting bored of eating the same thing every day.
Try out different food varieties. Work with different fruits, and don’t forget to occasionally include a surprise snack to keep things more exciting. Working with varieties will break the monotony of eating the same thing day in day out and ensure that your kid is getting a wide range of nutrients.
17. Use Mini Forks
When packing your kid’s lunch, even the seemingly small things matter a lot! So, don’t underestimate the power of mini forks! Kids generally love them, and including them in the lunchbox would create a world of difference.
Mini forks aren’t just cute, adorable, and perfect for their little fingers – they’re also a great way to teach your child etiquette and encourage proper manners. Of course, that’s without forgetting how they make it easier for them to eat some foods like salads!
Packing your child’s lunch can be puzzling and daunting for any mom. However, with a few hacks, you should find it a more fun and creative process. Of course, we’ve only provided a few lunchbox ideas.
The list of these ideas is endless, and you can even invent your own. It’s all about making it work better for you and your little one, so if whatever you have in mind does that, go for it!