What’s in your child’s lunch box?
Note: this post is not sponsored
Yep, I’m already thinking about back to school. This time last year I was stressing out about lunch. When G attended daycare, everything was taken care of. Suddenly I was in charge of ensuring she had a healthy meal she would actually eat. Plus, she had to open and close all packaging by herself, and it has to be as litterless as possible.
This year I’m feeling way more mellow because I found some great gear that works.
Since all the ‘Back to School’ sales are in full swing, I figured I should share my experiences with you.
Must Have Lunch box gear
I’m not going to lie, I bought this because it had My Little Pony on the front and I recognized Thermos as a good brand. One year later it is definitely worn, but I think it’s good to go for another school year. The bag unzips easily and is easy to clean when G puts leftover pizza loose inside.
I did so much research on which containers to buy G. I read reviews that compared how easy containers were to open, and how likely they were to spill. I considered more expensive bento-style lunch boxes to avoid the whole thing, and then I found Lunchblox at the store. The blue ice pack fills the entire bottom of the lunch bag and the containers fit on top like a puzzle. G has had no trouble opening them and we haven’t had any spills (though, the ‘wettest’ food I put inside is salad dressing and hummus). I actually just bought a second full set and some extra ‘sauce’ containers as well as other small sizes for days when I use a thermos instead of the large container.
3 – a Thermos
This time I’m not talking about the brand so I probably should refer to it as a ‘thermal container.’ I picked up two no-name containers at my grocery store when they were on sale. They are great for cold things such as cottage cheese or apple sauce, or hot things such as noodles and cheese or leftover chicken pot pie.
I have written about these before. I love them! They are great for smoothies, yoghurt, or applesauce and they always seem to come home empty (not the case for everything). The best part is they are easier to clean than they appear and work with the lids from ‘squishy pouches’ you buy in the store (so stockpile a few of those babies).
I had visions of putting together super-creative lunches for G but let’s just say I rarely delivered. The one little ‘extra’ I found easy to use and pretty cute and funny are these ‘eye’ food picks. I always put the grumpy eyes on a hard boiled egg before squishing it into a square container and make a funny voice telling G he’ll be very angry if she doesn’t eat him up.
It’s a really easy way to liven up lunch a bit. Plus, they even make making lunch more fun. Of course, I think I’m hilarious when I put eyes on all the sausages in her thermos and sing to myself “I always feel like, somebody’s watching me.”
6 – Toy Kitchen Knife
My daughter loves Laughing Cow cheese and cream cheese, but I don’t want her crackers to get soggy so I give her a container of cheese (or a few triangles of Laughing Cow) and include a small plastic knife from her play kitchen. It works perfectly and I don’t have to worry about it being confiscated!
8 – Old Baby Food Containers
From my old Baby Bullet containers to other small square-shaped things of various sizes, they have all come in quite handy. They are generally small and easy for G to use. As you can see in the pic above, the Baby Bullet container is great for ‘wet’ things such as hummus or sauces, and I love squishing hard boiled eggs in small cube containers because the egg comes out square (and generally angry, if you read my note above about the eyes)!
As you can see, I’m not always 100% litter-free but these little snack bags by Colibri are a great replacement to Ziplock bags. We use them for crackers, pretzels, and the odd cookie or two. 😛 They are easy to use and clean. Fun fact: they are manufactured in Canada, which I love (it might be time to update my Made in Canada post). They also have the cutest materials. I just bought another one with some adorable “lumberjack” beavers. I love that I can buy ones that aren’t too girly so both kids can make use of them, but they’re so cute G still loves them (not that she has a choice)!
The school asked us to send in a water bottle that wouldn’t spill when tipped over. My nephew was using the Funtainer bottle and liked it for water and milk (it keeps drinks cold for a longtime) so I picked up a couple for G. She and baby g find the push-button lid easy to open, and there is a little handle that pops up which G uses to unscrew the lid when she needs to refill the bottle. It’s very durable; we’ve had ours for a year and it can definitely go for a few more by the looks of it. I picked up a couple more as back ups (plus little g wanted his own).
Things I could live without
1 – Small Sandwich Presses
I bought a couple sets of these super cute sandwich cutter/presses thinking I would make cute little whale-shaped sandwiches, and heart shaped cheese to put on crackers. And I did… for about a day. The thing with these ones, in particular, is that you have to cut every piece individually. First one slice of bread, then the other, then press the animal face on it, then the cheese and meat, and anything else you want to put on. They aren’t strong enough to cut through a sandwich you assemble first. That is just too much work for this mama. Also – they leave a lot of wasted bread.
If you want a sandwich cutter, I would suggest something like the Lunch Punch as they cut off the crust but keep most of the sandwich intact (but in fun shapes like a puzzle). If you want some inspiration, check out Joanne Woo on Instagram – she’s a lunch box super mom!