It’s no secret that school this year looks a bit… well, different, than years past. And where every state and every district looks different- some in school full time, some strictly distance learning or a combination of both- and every school lunch looking different (disposable, reusable, classrooms- oh my!) school lunches are still something many moms are gearing up for, this month.We’ve had one little or the other in school for five years now, so I’ve learned a few things about packing school lunches, so I thought I’d share some of our favorite gear for packing with ease- and doing our part to help the planet (at least as long as we’re able!).
First up: for the tots
The littles can be the easiest to pack for (they don’t need as much) or the hardest (that p-word that rhymes with ‘icky’ if you know what I mean). A cute divided bento-style lunch box is a game changer for kiddos would would prefer to not have their food touch- or who love a wide variety of foods to keep their interest.Our favorite for going on four years has been the Bentgo box (ours is well loved and has been used by both of our kiddos), with the Wildkins cover (we’ve had several and they work great!).
When we can, I love to send disposable forks and napkins (though kids will forget and throw them away from time to time- so make sure you’re not too attached to them!). These ones are from the good old Target dollar spot!
My second favorite, a new-to-us option perfect for tots, or a snack for grown-ups is the Planetbox Shuttle. Now, I will say- the Planetbox lunchboxes ARE a bit of an investment (read: they’re not cheap), but they DO last forever, they’re stainless steel and dishwasher safe- so we’re slowly building up our collection. Our big kid has been using hers (see below) for two years- to school, camp and everywhere in between and she loves it. The shuttle is a great mini-version.
Opened up, it has one large compartment and one smaller one- it comes with a dip cup (more on the dividers we use to make it more bento-style, below).
For big kids:
The Planetbox Rover is our go-to for our big kid. She loves the big compartments and the variety she gets to choose from in her lunchbox.
You can’t forget about accessories! My current fave ice packs are these flexible Fit n’ Fresh ice packs, but any thin pack will do for all of the above. I also love using Stasher bags in the pocket or snack size for additional snacks- the pocket size is perfect for small kiddos.
The divided snack container is perfect if you want to pack a two-part snack- like veggies on one size, fruit or crackers on the other.
A few other things we love to use for packing are long picks (for fruit or meat and cheese kabobs), small picks (to add interest and encourage food exploration), silicone muffin cups as dividers and cookie cutters or this sandwich cutter to add some extra fun to the box.
Last but not least- these little Planetbox ‘Pods’ are perfect for further dividing in the lunchboxes- and they’re fun and colorful, which always makes lunch more fun!
We let the girls pick their own magnetic ‘stickers’ to make their lunchboxes feel fun and new every year.
I’d love to hear what your favorite lunch gear is! Shoot me a comment over on Instagram and let me know your school’s lunch plan, this year!
Past posts on school lunches: