I love back to school time!!!
It's so fun and exciting. This year I've got even more to prepare for: Tempe is starting first grade and that means she will be taking a lunch every day!
I'm afraid I'm going to be one of those crazy moms that spends more time on school lunches than on dinner.
Oops, sorry rest of the family.
I've been preparing myself for school lunches all summer: collecting lunch box stuff, making lists of healthy, cheap, fun lunches. And I think I am ready!
To keep all my lunchbox stuff organized, I put everything in a big basket that I keep on top of my fridge. I plan on making Tempe's lunch each night before I go to bed so that our mornings aren't rushed. With everything put together in the basket, it will make packing lunches a breeze!
So here's what I have in my school lunch basket:
- Easy lunch box containers: I knew I wanted reusable divided plastic containers to cut down on plastic bags and I looked in stores for a long time before settling on this set from Amazon. So far I really like them. They are much sturdier feeling than any of the plastic containers I looked at at Wal-Mart and Target. The only problem is that Tempe can't get the lids off yet. Hopefully she will have strong friends...? I've been making her practice every day.
- Plastic straws: they make drinking anything more fun!
- Mason jars: I plan on making smoothies and freezing them in mason jars, then letting them thaw in Tempe's lunch box. The straws are great for this, too, because smoothies are hard to drink!
- Colorful water bottle
- Thermos with collapsible straw: Tempe loves chicken noodle soup and homemade rolls in the winter.
- Mini cookie cutters: the one pictured is a gingerbread man, but I have sets for fall, Christmas, and Valentine's Day. I have found that anything is more fun to eat when it's cut into a shape: cucumber slices, cheese, homemade tortilla chips.
- Candy eyeballs: I got these from the cake decorating aisle at Wal-Mart. Kind of expensive, but how fun is it to open your lunchbox and see an apple with candy eyes "glued" on??
- Condiment cups (the eyeballs are in one): The easy lunch box containers are not leakproof, so I got a ton of little plastic condiment cups for dips.
- Silicone baking cups: Mostly just for visual appeal and to divide up the larger section of the lunchbox.
- Printable lunchnotes (not pictured): I made my own, but you can find them all over Pinterest.
- Colored toothpicks (not pictured): Food is more fun to eat when you can pick it up with a toothpick!
It's no fun to eat the same thing day after day, that's why I have all these fun things to make Tempe's lunch a little bit more visually appealing. When she opens her lunchbox, I want it to be a little friendly reminder that I love her and am thinking about her while she's at school!