It’s almost that time. School is sneaking up on me. And all I can see in my near future is a bunch of packing. I spend a large portion of every morning packing. Packing nap blankets, packing show and tell, water bottles, snow pants, mittens, permission slips, folders….and LUNCH. But this year, my friends, this mom is going to own lunch.
I actually made the decision to be the lunch boss about half way through the Summer. Because we send lunches with the boys to Summer school a few days a week. And I cannot live in the world where I scramble, toss, and regret what I sent them every single day. I just cannot. So I made a few investments. Let’s talk about them.
First, a bottle for their milk. Twice this Summer we have run out of milk and they conned me into sending them with a juice box. Little conartists. But most days they get milk. We don’t have the option to refrigerate, so I needed something heavy duty. I bought two different ones so I could compare. They both work great. Two seperate tests found the milk to be cold and delicious after 8 hours unrefrigerated. Impressive. I have no specific brand I would suggest, but I highly recommend it being stainless steel and insulated. This seems to be the key. If you are looking for one and want to keep it local, this is a good option.
Second…and most importantly…a hot meal container. I am obsessed with my innobaby keepin’ smart. I would die without it. My kids love hot food. Today, in example, they took brats for lunch. Yeah, you read that right – brats. We grilled them this weekend and had a few extra to slice up. This morning I heat those babies up in the microwave, tossed them in the hot meal container, and they will still be warm when Hank and Gus crack open the container for lunch time. I have used this container for meatballs, spaghetti, chilli, egg bake, mac and cheese, lasagna, chicken pot pie…must I go on? It’s a must have if you are packing a lunch for your kids.
It is also important for you to have other great containers – beyond the hot meal container. I love these little reusable baggies – easy for my kids to open, easy to wash, and easy on the environment. (Also available at Elegant Mommy in Sioux Falls). I also use a ton of these compartment containers (like a bento box). Sistema makes a bunch of great options (and you can often find them on sale at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx). I am a big fan of using these to make home made lunchables. My kids would eat salami, cheese, and crackers by the pound if I allowed it.
And then the lunch box. I made the early mistake of letting them use of those little flat lunchboxes, that has limited mistake. I hate spending money on the uneeded, so even though we don’t love them, we are still using them. The milk bottles don’t fit inside very well, so I often use a caribeaner clip to connect them. This way my little men don’t take off for lunch without their bottle. (Because it was happening a lot.) As the school year nears, they will be receiving new, much larger, lunch boxes. I decided on a Floss and Rock Bag I am excited not to play lunch Jenga with the food every morning.
I am not promising my kids will be bringing a lunch full of fruits, veggies, and healthy grains and meats, but I CAN ensure you I will be stressing out a lot less about getting whatever it is I am sending them for a lunch packed neatly into one lunch bag.
Happy lunch packing!