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The month of July is my personal alert that it’s time to start prepping and getting organized for the new school year ahead! Preparing to send the kids back to school can become a chaotic process if you don’t start early. I have a few go to tools like Ziploc® brand products which help keep my prep process organized and maintain at least one ounce of my sanity. Today I am sharing 5 easy steps and tips to make the back to school lunch task easy and simple. Plus there’s a free printable download waiting for you!
My boys love picking out their new “gear” and school supplies. Even my preschooler chose a new lunchbox design to bring along on our trips to the park and museum. If your elementary child is similar to mine, there are days they prefer to bring a lunch or opt to grab the meals being served in the school cafeteria.
Step 1: Choose a lunch box or tote
I love lunch boxes that are durable, easy to wash, and includes enough space to pack all of our healthy goodies. When searching for options, I choose sizes that are the perfect size for each child. We make it an adventure and plan a shopping trip together. I want for them to feel like they have a say in their “gear” they will be sporting all year long. As long as their choice meets my criteria, it’s a go for this mama!
Step 2: Determine the packing schedule.
If your child does not pack a lunch daily, determining how many lunches to prep for is important. It is very helpful to grab a schedule online for the month from your child’s school website. We take a peek on Sunday evenings to see which days we should pack a lunch. Of course, the deciding factor is based on which meals are offered on certain days.
Tip: Pack the night before to save time in the mornings.
Step 3: Choose your lunch options
I love adding different textures and food groups into my children’s lunch rotation. Each lunch typically includes a main entrée, veggies, a finger snack such as pretzels or baked chips, a fruit, and of course a sweet treat such as small cookies (no candy). To save a few dollars, try purchasing items in bulk or full sized bags and store the appropriate servings in reusable containers and plastic bags. We love using Ziploc® brand products because their products come in different shapes and sizes. Tip: Try adding a little fun with a sandwich bag topper as shown here designed by Beth Kruse Custom Creations!
Sandwich Bag Topper Assembly
You will need:
• Ziploc® brand Sandwich Bags
• Stapler or Transparent Tape
1. Download your free printable file located at the bottom of this post
2. Use a paper trimmer or scissors to remove the white border of the printable.
3. Fill the sandwich bag with a snack of your choice
4. Fold one treat bag topper in half. Add it to the top of the sandwich bag as pictured. Use a stapler or piece of tape along the side of the topper to keep it in place.
Step 4: Include your child in the packing process.
I must confess, I can be a perfectionist at times. However, I enjoy teaching my children how to do things themselves which helps them gain independence. Once I let go and began delegating household tasks to the boys, I realized it shaved off so much time and allowed me to focus on putting the finishing touches on certain tasks. The same goes for packing their lunches.
In an effort to encourage independence, allow your child to pack their food items in the Ziploc® Containers and Sandwich Bags. I always set parameters. (10 -15 grapes instead of 30). I love the ease of the open tabs and one press seal features which are perfect for little hands!
Step 5: Add a sweet and personal touch.
Whether they admit it or not, kids love finding a special surprise in their lunch boxes like a nice note from Mom or Dad. Maybe not in high school, but you never know. I plan on being that mom. To avoid going overboard, use a printable that gets the job done. We printed this fun design from on a piece of white cardstock. Trim the edges and you are all set.
Be sure to head over to Kroger to grab all of your Ziploc® brand products
We hope that you found our tips helpful! Get ahead of the game by hopping over to view some of the Ziploc® brand Youtube video tutorials and inspiration for more fun ideas to help make your back to school prep even easier. There is even a special hub of ideas here for more Back to School tips.
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Access and download your free printables by Beth Kruse Custom Creations here!