With school lunch duty right around the corner, I've added Kids Lunch Containers to my back-to-school shopping list.
Do you have a favorite brand or type of container you use when packing your kids' lunch? With two years under my belt, I've learned a few things and may try some new ideas as well.
Here's a round up of what has worked for us and the food we like to pack:
Sandwiches - A Must Have
Our favorite sandwiches are Turkey & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Honey, and Peanut Butter & Banana. Sandwiches need protection in a lunch box, so we use these generic sandwich boxes. The lids are thick and snap on tight and they can withstand the heat of the bottom of the dishwasher (although not recommended).
We accessorize our sandwiches with the Sandwich Cutters. Mickey Mouse and Star Wars Tie Fighter are the most requested shapes. We go overboard and have hearts, trees, stars, butterflies, dinos, circles, etc. Most large cookie cutters do the job. For us, it's not about crust removal since Mickey AND Mickey's "shadow" both get eaten at our house.
Bento Box Inner Boxes
I'm going to try these Bento Buddies from Container Store. The key will be getting a set of inner boxes and the outer lunch box to coordinate so everything fits.
We've used Sistema snap containers for fruit and crackers and they've worked great, but only one can fit in the lunch box with a sandwich. Nothing is more annoying than having inserts that don’t fit. Sistema are also great for the diaper bag since baby's hands can't unsnap the sides yet.
We try to minimize our plastic bag use. Munchkin zip bags are perfect for our apple slices and cheese and crackers. Cookie treats tuck easily inside too. We're going to add to the reusable food wrapper stash and try new styles. What do you think about these sandwich sizes and snack sizes?
Recommended for You
Our staple container is the small Thermos Snack Jar. We fill it with hot pasta, soups, chicken pot pie, or stir fry and rice. Since it's leak proof, it also does double duty for packing smoothies, juice, yogurt and cool salads.
Do you like packing your own lunch, but hate when a salad gets soggy because it was mixed together? This Salad Kit by Rubbermaid is the answer. My husband will be trying it out! It could also be used for a Burrito bowl recipe with the rice, beans and cheese in the bottom (to be heated up) and the tomatoes and lettuce toppings (cool stuff) to be removed.
The Lunch Box
Lunch boxes are still a fashion statement. I loved my Care Bears and Empire Strikes Back metal lunch boxes as a kid. My daughter has used a classic-styled, monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids for two years and it's still going strong. Going into 3rd grade may require an upgrade in style, she says. Here's what she found..
She knows I'm a sucker for polka dots! What kind of lunch box do your kids use? Did you have a favorite as a kid?
Don't forget the little things that can make lunch special. Love Notes, food coloring pens to graffiti a sandwich, "love" sprinkles in the sandwich (yes, I add more sugar to the sandwich), paper towel or napkin notes, or holiday inspired lunch sacks.
Have a practice school lunch day with your kids. Be sure you've taught your child how to remove and insert the straw in a juice box, how to open the string cheese or how to unsnap her apple slices. My friend couldn't figure out why her kindergartener was coming home with a full lunch box every day. In tears, the 5-year old broke down and confessed that she didn't know how to open her food.
What are your favorite kids' lunch containers?
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Note: These are my own opinions and I received no compensation for sharing these products with you. However, I have included affiliate links to Amazon.com, just so you know.