With the girls going back to school this week, I am once again faced with the dreaded task of packing lunches every day. Both of my girls are good eaters, but they are also picky and, therefore, do not love the lunches that the school has to offer. And, since they have such a long day at school, I really want them to eat! So, I find myself making packed lunches...day after day after day. Not my favorite activity. Can you relate?
To make this rather mundane chore a bit more palatable, I have learned a few tricks along the way. So, today I thought I'd share a few tips with you:
1. Lunch Box: Yes, this is obvious, but shop around. There are so many cute options out here. My girls always pick out their own lunch boxes and I am happy to say that, after many, many years, we have finally graduated from the "princess" lunch box phase! This year we found some adorable, floral versions at Cath Kidston.
2. Storage Containers: You will need a bunch of little storage containers for sandwiches, snacks, etc... While I must admit that I do resort to using the occasional plastic bag, I do try to use storage containers whenever possible. HomeGoods, Pottery Barn Kids, Target and the Container Store are all good places to find cute storage options. I found these at PBK, Borders Bookstore, and Cath Kidston...
3. Ice Packs: These are obviously necessary for keeping lunch fresh if it won't be refrigerated. I look for ones with pretty, colorful designs. These are from Target - collected over the years.
4. The Details: My favorite part - adding in all the pretty, little details. Colorful napkins are a must. I buy these whenever I find them on sale. HomeGoods has an especially wonderful selection and the prices are always great.
Pretty straws make drinking your milk so much more fun!
And a handi-wipe can't hurt for those sticky fruit leathers and sweet treats!
5. A sweet note: I also always like to include a little note - just something as simple as "I love you" or "eat your veggies" lets the girls know that I am thinking about them...
6. A little Something Special: For special occasions such as birthdays or the first week of school, I like to include a special little treat - just a small trinket - like some stickers, a piece of candy, or a Squinkie (Mini-mini-me's fav at the moment)...
I know this may all sound like a lot of extra work, but it honestly only adds about one or two extra minutes to my lunch-packing process. I just stock up on pretty, fun things when I see them. You can even write out a bunch of notes all in one sitting. Packing a "pretty" lunch makes making lunch so much more enjoyable for me... and I know my kiddies really love all the special touches. :-)
P.S. Yes, we did survive Irene. Thank you so much to everyone who so kindly wrote and expressed their concern for our safety. We were very lucky around here and managed to come out of the whole thing without any injuries to ourselves or damage to our home. Sadly, many others along the East Coast have not been as fortunate and my heart goes out to everyone whose lives have been forever changed...