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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


Summer has flown by once again, and back-to-school time has arrived! Which is a bit of relief for most moms of school-aged-children. Except that you can now add "make school lunches" back on your daily to-do list!

I tend to have grand plans at the beginning of the year for Pinterest-worthy, bento-style school lunches. Which has never lasted beyond week 1! Throwing together a decent school lunch quickly morphs into about 3 minutes of time and effort before cleaning up from dinner. Here are my tips:

Tip #1: Don't wait until the morning rush to pack lunches. It's hard enough to make yourself coffee and get the kids fed breakfast and out the door, without having to worry about lunches too!

Tip #2: Have fruits and veggies prepared and easy to grab. Pre-chopped veggies or a piece of fruit is a must in the lunch box every day. But if it's been a few days since your last trip to the store and you're out of fresh produce, freeze-dried or dried fruit like raisins or apricots work too.

Tip #3: I like to include a homemade muffin, cookie or bar as a snack in school lunches. Taking 30 minutes every other weekend to make a double batch of tasty whole-wheat muffins is worth it! Homemade snacks will also cut down on the garbage and extra expense of packaged snacks.

Tip #4: The easiest main course is leftovers. Some are fine cold and packed the night before (like pizza or pasta salad). Others might need to be warmed in the thermos and added to the rest of the lunch in the morning like a stew, casserole or spaghetti. If your kid gets sick of sandwiches (and you get sick of making them!) another good option is the bento-style such as whole grain crackers, sliced cheese and a boiled egg.

Do you have any school-lunch hacks? If so, share them below!

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