I found these super cute Lunchbox kits on Amazon ~ I'm thinking they'd be perfect for our sandwiches that are pre-wrapped each day!
I have a confession to make. I have been horrible this year at keeping up with my kids lunches, and every morning live in chaos before racing my kids to the bus because I just don't have it together! Soooo. . . I thought I'd remind you all (and myself!) of how to get ahead on lunchbox duty. (I'm determined to get my fridge back in lunchbox shape over the weekend!)
When I saw this post last year from Money Saving Mom, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to make at least a week's worth of PB&J's instead of pulling out all the lunch supplies each day. (Duh???) You might even try making sandwiches ahead for the entire month and freezing them, but we start by preparing a week's worth of lunches each Sunday afternoon . . .
Note the “C” for Caroline – she likes only peanut butter, Jackson can't survive without jelly 🙂
I'm not quite up for those homemade Uncrustables (thankfully my kiddos enjoy their crust . . . however I do applaud you mommas who de-crust your children's sandwiches!) Just taking a few minutes though to prepare our lunch supplies makes such a difference in our mornings, so I'm determined to get my act together again. When I'm completely on top of things, here's what our lunch stash looks like in the fridge . . .
The drawer below this one holds the fruit stash: fresh apples and strawberries. I could definitely use some tips though on how to pack fruit like strawberries or grapes ahead of time so that they don't get soggy, because I have a very picky eater who keeps complaining about soggy grapes. If you have any ideas on keeping fruit fresh for lunches, I'd love to hear them!
I also try to keep items wrapped up for snacks – popped popcorn and wrapped homemade brownies make great inexpensive treats, as well as a few pre-packaged items found on sale . . .
My goal is to pack their lunches as soon as those lunch boxes are unpacked after school each day, which only takes a minutes when I have my supplies in order. My kids can even pack their own lunches when I take the time to catch up, so this one is definitely on my to-do list for the weekend. . . I'm so ready for more peaceful mornings around here!
Do you have any great tips on handling lunch box duty (and suggestions besides PB&J for your children's lunch box meal?) I'd love to hear them, so take a minute and leave a comment to share!
Looking for some super cute lunch box ideas? Check these out . . .
These are all way fancier than I'm up for . . . we're just sticking with the basics here. But aren't they so stinkin' cute???
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Does the bread stay fresh? Or does it get hard?
Hi Joanne! I double wrap it tightly in cling wrap and it stays fresh – hope that helps!
Kim Cantwell Dolezalek says
My daughter complains if I make sandwiches ahead of time because they get soggy. Her favorite is ham on a Hawaiian roll with Swiss cheese.
could you have sandwhich made & just and cm dimmers in the am?
I also have the snack drawer. But after a month of sandwiches and another of lunchables I now give them spaghetti and meatballs or ravioli. I have to heat them up in the morning. But if you pour them in a microwavable bowl the night before, in the morning while we are waiting for the bus I pop them in for a minute, pour them into their thermos and out they go. Each one of my boys have a task. One gets the drinks and the other gets the snacks into the lunchboxes. Next month they’ll get personal pizza. Heat them wrap in aluminum foil and pack them.
Jennifer Brigman De Long says
I seriously make my kids entire Lunch once they bring their lunch box to me. Then I make another Lunch, sandwiches wrapped in a paper towel before being put into sandwich container. Pack everything into their lunch box and keep it in our extra super handy refrigerator in our garage. It saves me 20 plus minutes in the morning. Love it!
Here is my tried and true method. I have 4 stacking baskets that I use (they are sterilite from walmart I believe-the handles fold out and in so they can stack and nest). I make up enough snacks for the entire week. For example I have 3 kids so I make 15 baggies of pretzels, or fig newtons, or trial mix. 3 go into each basket and one into each of their lunch boxes. (This is why there is no need for 5 baskets). If the snacks need to be refrigerated, like fruit, or cheese slices that I cut, they go in the fridge. The night before they each fill up their water bottles, and take turns loading the lunch boxes. In the morning I grab sandwiches from the freezer, and anything cold from the fridge, pop those in the lunch boxes and put them on their book bags. I make 2 or 3 weeks worth of pb&js and keep them in the freezer ready to go. It takes about 20 minutes to make that many. If I do fruit, I use the vinegar/water short soak in the sink and it keeps fruit fresh for a lot longer. The kids come home and put any plastic containers from lunch in the sink, fill up water bottles and pack the snacks, and they are ready for me in the morning. Once a basket is empty, the handles get folded in and nested on the bottom.
Could you put glad press n seal on the easy lunch box to keep it from leaking? Another idea to keep the fruit fresh is to use the Salad in a jar method with mason jars. You can use mini mason jars (if the school allows) or store them in the jars and transfer them in Rubbermaid containers. You can make them 5 days ahead. Hope that made since.
I use the EasyLunchBoxes you have pictured and love them! I bought mine on Amazon. They wash well on the dishwasher top rack – still look new, and this is my 2nd year using them for my preschoolers. Also, they say they are not leak proof, but I often put cottage cheese or yogurt in the sections and they do not leak into the other sections.
I’m really thinking about buying them ~ so glad to know you liked them! Thanks so much for the tips 🙂
Jennie White says
I freeze yogurt to put in my kids lunch. It helps keeps their lunch cold and is thawed out by the time lunch comes around. Another thing I do besides BP&J is I cut up cheese and meat and put some crackers in there for lunch. Once and a while my kids want lunchables and I don’t want to pay for them. So I “make” my own.
Amy Brown says
I didn’t know yogurt could be frozen. Thanks!
I have a question about packing lunches the night before. Don’t the sandwiches get soggy? That is the main reason I do not make it the night before. Advice Please.
Thanks for the idea to wrap the homemade goods ahead of time into serving sizes! That was a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment.
I understand Bree – I’ve done it for years but haven’t thought about it in ages! Planning to pop some popcorn too tonight for snacks. 🙂
Melissia @ Bravely Frugal says
What a great post! It has been the same for us around here – chaos in the morning while I prepare breakfast and school lunches. I am going to try your suggestions and hope for more peaceful mornings. Thank-you!
I hope it helps Melissa ~ I know ours are so much better when i stick with it, so I get mad at myself when I forget like I have lately! Hope it works for you too 🙂
I wash fruit then place them in the Rubbermaid small bowls with easy find lids or glad/Ziploc bowls. The fruit is not exposed to extra air and is conveniently ready to throw in lunch boxes. My kids have never complained about the fruit except when I accidently let the stash run out :/
It also prevents it from getting smushed inside the lunchbox.
I’m going to try those tips – my kids love fruit but one of them in particular goes nuts when it gets the least big soggy… thanks for the suggestions!!!
I don’t know if you have tried the pinterest tip of washing fruit in a solution of vinegar water? I used about 1/4 cup of vinegar to 1.5 – 2 cups water. It worked great! I washed a bunch of grapes and stored them in a ziploc bag for around 2 weeks with no mold or mushiness! I also use the little plastic containers from the Dollar Tree ($1 for ten) and store fruit for the week in those so its ready to go.
Amy Brown says
Awesome tip! Will try myself!
Freeze the grapes and they won’t be soggy by lunch