Bored of making lunches for the littles already or sick of it returning untouched or barely eaten? We have pulled together some tried and tested ways to give you a helping hand when it comes to making school lunches.
So if you’re looking for some simple ways to save time, money and prevent food waste, look no further. Here are TEN lunch box hacks we feel every parent needs to know:
Keep apples fresh
Apple slices are a firm favourite in most lunchboxes but a majority of the time they come back uneaten if the apple goes brown. Some parents swear by a dash of lemon juice to reduce browning while others wrap an elastic around the chopped apple to keep it intact and fresh.
Use silicone cake cases
Suppose your child is a fussy little bugger when it comes to food and hates touching things - invest in some reusable cupcake cases. These are brilliant for keeping small portions like grapes, cucumber slices and even cherry tomatoes from touching other foods in a lunchbox.
Buy cheap buy twice
I’m a firm believer in that saying. Having bought many lunchboxes and beakers over the years, it pays to invest in a sturdy leakproof lunchbox with separate compartments to prevent food from being squished together and a reusable beaker of course. Do your research and buy something that will last you years.
Create a dedicated fridge space
It may sound silly for some, but when you have a few lunches to make, this can be a little lifesaver not just for school lunches but for snack time too. Make a snack station by investing in a clear container to keep lunch essentials in one neat place for when you need them.
Think outside of the box
During the colder months, some kids may prefer a hot meal such as soup, noodles or even pasta spaghetti. Thermos food flasks are one of the perfect lunch box hacks for wet and windy weather as they keep food hot for up to six hours if used correctly.
Avoid unnecessary plastic waste
Store-bought lunch snacks can cost an absolute fortune, so why not get creative and make some simple changes. Lunchables can be recreated easily by using cookie cutters and small crackers. You could also ditch individually wrapped cheese portions by cutting a large block to size.
Keep miniature jam jars
Next time you go out for lunch, keep the tiny jam jars you get with your scone to use in your lunchbox to store dips. These little containers are perfect for storing dips like hummus, guacamole, cream cheese and even homemade applesauce.
Make food fun
An essential of our lunch box hacks - if your child is reluctant to try new foods, why not shake things up a little and use cookie cutters to shape fruits, veggies and even sandwiches. It’s a great way of making their lunch look appealing and encouraging kids to eat them. Reusable picks and skewers can also add a new twist on lunchbox favourites.
Once a month make some lunch box fillers in bulk and freeze in individual servings. Homemade oat bars, banana bread, and egg muffins are simple, easy options to pop into the lunchbox, especially on those extra crazy school mornings.
Keep food cool
And finally, if you are concerned about keeping your child’s lunch fresh during hot weather, another of our great lunch box hacks is to consider investing in reusable ice cubes that are small enough to fit in their lunchbox. Alternatively, freeze their yoghurt tubes and grapes the night before, they will double as an ice pack.