5 Easy Lunchbox Shortcuts

School Age

A nutritious lunch can keep your kid's engine running smoothly throughout the school day. Check out our top five lunch hacks—they'll save time and money, plus give kids a boost just when they need it most.

1

Keep everything cool

To keep a cold lunch cool, freeze a clean, wet sponge in a sealable plastic bag for an inexpensive ice pack. Or freeze a plastic water bottle (pour a little out first because it’ll expand) to keep lunch cool and give your child an ice-cold drink. 

2

Make mini-meals

Save money on those prepackaged mini-meals by making your own (healthier) version. Pack low-sodium deli meat turkey slices, reduced fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, grapes and baby carrots in a sectioned plastic container. Or give him a mini-pizza with mini whole-wheat pita, marinara sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese, bell pepper strips and mandarin oranges. And don't forget water to drink!

3

Quick and quirky

Quick, quirky and delicious! Packing a healthy lunch that tempts the taste buds is easier than you think. Here are a few of our favorite ready-to-go lunch ideas:

Pack salads in tall plastic containers by layering a little dressing on the bottom, toppings in the middle, and lettuce or spinach on top. Just shake and eat! (Moms and dads love this one as much as the kids!)

Keep a few grab-and-go lunches handy by freezing a few PB&Js. Here's a helpful hint ... to keep bread from getting soggy, spread nut butter on both slices of bread, with jelly in the middle.

4

What to pack?

Keeping the right containers on hand makes packing lunch a breeze. Use small plastic containers or foil muffin tin liners to keep dips and sauces separate. For an easy reminder to pack a variety of foods, use a divided container.

5

Feeling fun and festive

There's nothing more special than an opportunity to add a little personality to your child's lunch. And even though you won't be there to see, you'll love the idea of putting a smile on his face at lunchtime. Use cookie cutters to turn sandwiches, cheese, fruits and veggies into fun shapes. Draw a smiley face on a banana or orange peel. Or leave a special note for your child in his lunchbox. It'll make his day.