Like I said in this post, I am on a mission this year to make school lunches something my kids look forward to. I also want to feel good about the food I am serving them. By the end of last year, if they had to eat one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which they had in their lunch every day) my girls would look at me like I was asking them to eat dirt. Thankfully, over the summer their taste for pb & j has returned, and I want to keep it that way.
I also wanted to get rid of baggies. I hated spending the money on zip baggies, not to mention the waste! I started early on my search for the perfect lunch bag & containers, and after using them for almost a week, I can say I am super excited about how smoothly packing school lunches has been going.
The lunch bags I found are Nike brand. I found them at Shopko, but you can also order them here on Amazon. These are perfect. They have 2 pockets, and are deep enough to fit the water bottle inside with the lunch. I love that I can fit the sandwich size container in the front pocket, which leaves the large back pocket open for water bottle & whatever else I want to fit in there. The zippers are heavy duty and the bag is really well made. I also found the BPA free water bottles at Shopko, my girls LOVE these. They are also Aladdin brand and they unscrew on the top like a regular water bottle, but they also unscrew further down to fit ice in if desired.
The blue containers are Aladdin brand and are AWESOME. I found them at Target, but they can also be purchased here. The sandwich size container is deep and comes with a removable ice pack...love that! The smaller blue container also has a removable ice pack. The little green containers are from Rubbermaid also from Target. They are perfect for a single cookie, nuts, dips, dried apricots, etc. I bought each girl one large sandwich container, one side container, and two small green lid containers. It has worked perfectly for lunches so far.
I was concerned about washing them out every night, but it really is not a big deal. Usually we just wipe them out, but if the food is messy, we throw them in the dishwasher. The girls empty their lunch bags as part of their afternoon routine, and they know that filling their water bottles and putting them in the refrigerator, putting their ice packs in the freezer, and emptying their containers are all part of their chart.
Click Here To Download Free Printable
So how am I keeping this all organized and easy peasy? With the help of our sponsor, Clean Mama. She makes beautiful printables that keep ones home running smoothly, and she made free Weekly Lunch Plan for us! I just love it! It has definitely helped in keeping my mind less frazzled in trying to remember what to serve for lunch. I especially like the area for ideas, it reminds me of food that might otherwise sit in the refrigerator and go to waste. If you love the above printable, make sure you check out Clean Mama's shop, which is full of more!
Here is what is on our idea list this week:
PB & J Sandwich
Frozen Berries (thawed perfectly by lunch)
Protein & Dairy
I skip these because we don't eat dairy in our home, or at least very little.
My girls drink water every day. I believe juice is just too expensive and full of sugar. Even 100 percent juice has natural sugars in it that can spike blood sugar levels since the fiber is removed from it. I can't tell you how much money we save by just being water drinkers in our home!
Whole grain bars
Here is our lunch plan for this week:
Italian Dressing for both
Whole Grain Bar
Pb & Jelly Sandwich
Chips & Salsa
I also bought them each a new thermos, same Alladin brand. I will save that and my ideas for another post!
Need MORE School Lunch Food Ideas? Click here.