School Lunch Survival Hacks & Tips to Live By


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When it comes to packing school lunches, sharing is caring. And now that everyone is back at school, there’s no end to needing tips to get us through the year. We asked savvy moms across the web to share how they stay organized, find inspiring lunch ideas and get their kids to actually eat their entire lunch. Here they reveal their best lunch survival hacks. What tips would you add?


1. Give them a choice
Bay Area mama, Lisa Jackson of Good on Paper tells us that her son’s lunchbox usually comes back empty when she gives him a choice of food.

2. Create a snack bin
Make grabbing snacks as convenient as possible. With a snack bin busy mornings become a bit less hectic says Samantha McBride. Pro tip from Samantha: keep the snack bin out of your kids’ reach!

3. Pack ahead
Busy mom Dana Leigh says her method to the lunchtime madness is to pack her kids’ lunches the day before. She reveals, “I have found it easiest to pack lunches for the next day the minute my kids walk in the door from school! They empty out and clean their lunch boxes and load them up with the next day’s lunch. Our evenings and mornings are hectic so it’s nice to take packing lunches out of the equation during the busiest times of the day!”


4. Teamwork
Getting out the door on time with lunches in hand is a team effort says mom of four, Renee Hill. By asking her girls to pitch in, Renee teaches her family responsibility and as a bonus, she buys herself a few more minutes to sip her morning coffee!

5. Add a little treat
Packing a lunch EVERYSINGLEDAY is probably one of the most challenging parts of the school year. Chelsea Andrews divulges one of her essential tips to streamline lunches for her picky eater. She surprises her kiddo with a treat in her lunchbox, which makes her little scholar’s lunches a bit more exciting. 

6. Put your kids to work
Ken Kinzie and April Riehm are all about empowering their kids to make their own lunches. They find that their kids are more likely to eat lunches that they made themselves.


7. Trust that your kids are capable
We love Marlynn Jayme Schotland’s perspective: your kids are more capable than they let on. She gives her kids tasks like washing fruit to picking out juice boxes to help guide their independence and as a bonus, it helps make her family’s mornings a bit less hectic.

8. Prepare Everything on Sunday
Kendra Stanton’s pro tip: pack the entire week on Sunday. She says this will save you time, energy and may even prevent some fine lines in the future!

9. Let your picky eater make the decisions
Picky eaters happen to the best of us. Sara Olsher’s daughter has a long history of picky eating. To help her daughter finish up her lunches, Sara gives C a choice by letting her choose her lunchbox and what goes in it.

—Tinybeans editors


20 Lunchboxes That’ll Make It Through the School Year
21 Lunch Ideas They Will Actually Eat
Six Steps to Loving School Lunch

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