By this time of year, the kids get bored with the same old lunchboxes. Let’s switch it up!
Thank you Brawny® Tear-A-Square® for sponsoring this post. Think of all the ways you can Put a Square There!
We made it through winter! It’s SPRING! I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen. We are preparing to move and our whole schedule is a mess.
This year, we’ve been bringing lunches to school more than ever. With some picky eating habits, I want to make sure my kids are actually eating a decent meal for lunch. I did realize, though, that they were getting tired of the same sandwiches every day.
Side story: since I know most of the teachers at the school, I told the girls a little tall tale two years ago and they STILL believe it. I told them that there is someone watching them in the lunchroom and they report to me if they throw away items in their lunches. I always have the rule where they just need to bring home what they can’t finish, instead of tossing it.
If I think that items were just tossed instead of eating them, I just say, “Are you SURE you ate your lunch? That’s not what I heard!” It works every time!
One item that always goes into the lunchboxes is a napkin, usually two. One for the table and one for messy faces. The minute I saw the new Brawny® Tear-A-Square® paper towels in the store, I stocked up! You can get a whole, half, or quarter sheet…how convenient is that? 99% of the time, we use paper towels for napkins, and now it’s so nice to have that little perforated strip for even-sized napkins.
The paper towels come in a larger 6-pack or easy to store 2-pack. With six (super messy) family members, we always grab the big pack.
10 ways to switch up those lunchboxes
Allow the kids to pack themselves. This was a hard one for me at first, but I realized that if they pack their lunches, they’re probably going to eat it. Win-win, right? I monitor to make sure it’s a balanced meal and that they’re not packing too many items…but it’s gone so well so far. I have a “lunchbox bin” in the fridge with yogurt, fruit cups, lunch meat, cheese sticks, and more. It makes it super quick and easy to grab and pack!
Bring back the thermos. Gabby loves mac n’ cheese and it stays nice and warm in a thermos. While I’m making the lunches, I warm up the thermos with some hot water from a tea kettle. Pour out the water, then add whatever you want to keep warm. It always works! Other items: chicken noodle soup, veggie soup, or any easy to eat leftovers–pasta is great, too!
Chef Salads. My older twins love salads right now and like to pick and choose their favorite toppings for salads. I make sure they have at least one form of protein. We found fun little dressing cups at the dollar store so the salad doesn’t get soggy. Our go-to toppings: cheese, hard boiled eggs, ham/turkey slices, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers.
MYO Fruit Cups. Buy a 6 pack of the 1/2 cup sized round containers and make your own fruit cups to save tons of money. We love strawberries and pineapple with honey. Granola is always a fun topper, too!
Sunbutter. We are a peanut-free school, but sometimes Gabby just wants a PB&J in her lunch. We always have a jar of Sunbutter on hand for school lunches.
Wraps and roll-ups. Try buying fajita-sized tortillas and making sandwich wraps instead of traditional sandwiches. These are super easy for the kids to make, too. Try a veggie cream cheese instead of mayo!
Pizzadillas! These have been a favorite for years. Hawaiian with colby-jack cheese, pineapple, and ham is a favorite, but also classic pepperoni or cheese with Italian seasoning. Just grill them up like a quesadilla, just be sure to go easy on the sauce.
Mini Subs. For those crust haters, mini sub buns have been a lifesaver.
Small water bottles instead of juice. As the temperatures rise, I like the girls to have water instead of juice. The mini-sized water bottles are great for lunchboxes. You can even freeze them and they double as an ice pack!
Meat & crackers. Ask the deli to cut your ham or turkey thicker than normal, then cut into squares. Pair with cracker cut cheese and favorite crackers! So much cheaper than store-bought varieties.
Any meal you pack, be sure to toss in a Brawny® Tear-A-Square® or two to keep those hands clean!
How do you switch up the lunchboxes? I’d love more ideas! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram stories for #LunchboxIdeas videos.