School Lunches Kids Love

Send your kids back to school with a lunch you know they will love!

Studio 5 Contributor Mandy Douglass shares easy but creative ways to make your kid’s school lunch special.

Aluminum Lunchboxes

Boxes have come a long way in 30 years. We started out with those oh so cool aluminum lunch boxes, and believe it or not, they have made a huge come back!

A great way to update those boxes is to grab some black Chalkboard vinyl (sold at Hobby Lobby). Then cut out vinyl to fit inside the lid of your box. Place vinyl sticky side down in the lid of your box. Use some chalk to write a sweet note to your kids, or maybe even some instructions on how to put the lunch together!

Lunchbox found at Old Navy for $7 (on sale) – In Stores only

· a few drawbacks are – They get dented really easy, They aren’t insulated, & They rust after washing if not dried completely.

· a few advantages – They come in cool designs, They can fit a thermo inside, & lets face it … they take us mom’s back in time!

Bento Boxes

Bento Boxes are all the rage right now. What is a Bento Box you might ask? It is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine, (or Japanese word for boxed lunch). Now Bento Boxes have become the latest rage here in the US for packing something other than the traditional PB&J Sandwich, and including different types of foods: carbs, protein, fruits, veggies, and a small treat. These “Bento” style boxes are sold in multiple stores and online. They come with tight fitting lids and individual spots for all your food.

Circo To-Go Conatiners – Target – Range from $1.79 to $4.99
Goodbyn Bynto – Target – $8.99
Superman Thermo – Target – $13.99

Eco Collapsible Meal Kit – Walmart – $9.97

Traditional Sack Lunches

Use a free downloadable printable and a standard Brown paper sack! Just tape closed the top of the bag, and tape down the flap in back … and you will be surprised how easy this is to print! Cut off the top with those zig zag scissors, and finish it off by taping it closed with washi tape!

Dressing up your lunch!

Bento Boxes get to be really time consuming and unrealistic. Your kids can think that their lunch is just as great as their friend (whose mom may have taken hours to cut each little sandwich into a puzzle piece)! Stash a drawer full of leftover party napkins, stripey straws, snack cups, cupcake liners, food picks, cupcake toppers, mini forks, colorful utensils, Umbrella picks, etc. And dress up your standard boxed lunch!

Add a printable for a fun surprise for your school child!
Free for download!

Other favorite printables I have my eye on!

What to pack in lunches? Here are a few helpful hints!

Click Here for printable download.

If you want to give the “Bento Box” a shot, here is a tip from

“If you don’t pack the food in snugly and right up to the top rim of the box, everything will mix together and the little bit of extra time you spent to make the lunch cute will have been wasted. If there’s no extra space in the box the food won’t have anywhere to go when the box is tilted and everything will stay where it belongs. I usually pack the main components into the box and then look for any extra spaces. If I find any, I plug them up with smaller little bites. Grapes, cubes of cheese, berries and cherry tomatoes are wonderful for filling these little gaps.”

Other ideas include:

– Make the whole lunch have a theme! It could be:
o Holiday
o Color
o Letter
o Name (everything start with the letter of the childs first name)

Have the kids help out!

Take them shopping with you and let them pick what they want in their lunches. Have them help you separate items into baggies. If they help, they will be more likely to eat what they picked!

Create two bins – Easy accessible items for kids to grab and go
One for in the fridge –
o grapes, pudding, drinks, veggies, fruit
– One for the pantry –
o chips, snacks, cookies

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