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One of the things I was probably least excited about going back to school was PACKING LUNCHES.
I see so many adorable Bento-style lunch ideas on Pinterest, but, let’s be honest, I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to make everyone’s food look like hedgehogs or panda bears.
I have a full head of hair to flat iron.
But my heart is truly to make my boys’ lunchboxes an extension of my love for them. I want them to open their lunchpails and feel a little metaphoric hug from their mama.
After several years of trying to figure out a quick and easy way to pack 4 lunches every day that are economical, easy to clean, and have a few happy touches, here are the products that I have come to rely on!
Can I just say that these lunch bags are just the cutest things EVER?! They have over 20 different animal options. I am not kidding when I tell you that I bought one for everyone in our family. Including the hubs (which is a testimony to the fact that he is 110% secure in his manhood).
When it is 5 o’clock in the morning and I am bleary-eyed and asking God for strength, the simple act of seeing these 4 adorable pails lined up on the counter puts a smile on my face.
This product is BY FAR my favorite way to keep packing lunches quick and easy. I don’t need to use 400 Tupperware or Ziploc bags with these special 3-compartment containers. I set everything out, throw food inside, and at the end of the day – clean-up is a breeze.
And they fit perfectly inside the Skip Hop lunch bags (see above)!
*Note – As a preschool teacher, I especially love these boxes because the set up and clean up is so simple! Plus, with 8 preschoolers crammed at one table, the confusion over whose Tupperware belongs to who is removed.
I love these little penguin ice packs! They are happy, thin, and do a wonderful job of keeping our food cold until lunchtime.
I may not be able to make real Bento boxes, but these silicone cupcake liners are the greatest way to section out food inside the Easy Lunchbox container. And they really add such a fun pop of color!
Every once in awhile I will stick a few of these into my boys’ food. I think it creates such a whimsical touch!
The only thing you have to be careful about is little ones accidentally throwing these away after they are done eating. I threaten my children with their lives if they do that.
I hope this is helpful for you!
As I gather all of these supplies together each morning, I like to remember the story of the little boy who offered his lunch to Jesus and saw Him use it to feed over 5,000 people (read the full story HERE).
Do you ever stop to think that on the other end of that story was a precious mama who had faithfully packed her son’s lunch? She had NO idea that that one task – mundane and tedious as it was – would be the catalyst for something so miraculous.
So when I am tempted to get discouraged about having to wake up and pack YET ANOTHER lunch, I remember that it’s being used by God to do far more than I could ever imagine.
Keep on, mamas!
– Julie 🙂
*Check out lots more easy ways to make lunchboxes fun HERE!*
*Also, see my post on 5 ways to make packing lunches more meaningful HERE!*