When Max started nursery school, he stayed for lunch once a week. And I can tell you, that one lunch a week stressed me out. I had to make sure that we had everything in for a healthy lunch as the nursery school would totally judge me if it was unhealthy, right? Then there was the slept in dilemma and rushing to get something thrown in his lunch box on those days. I really was not on top of my game!
So what things did I learn to change? I wanted to save time and not go insane from having to deal with cutting out pieces of carrot to make his sandwich look like a monster. As he starts school in September, I want to save time making lunches, as much as I can. So here are my tips for making the process easy and keeping you sane along the way.
Use Your Freezer For Pretty Much Everything
When it comes to making packed lunches, your freezer will become your new best friend. You can freeze a lot of things when you think about it. Even sandwiches. Yes, truly! You can make sandwiches ahead of time and then freeze them. It does depend on what you have in them, of course. Max isn’t very adventurous when it comes to his sandwiches and does like jam or cheese spread (not together I might add). These things will freeze fine in a sandwich. Then you just take out that morning and they’ll be thawed by lunchtime.
Second of all you can freeze up a bottle of water or carton of juice. Not only will the drink be cold for them to drink, but it will double up as an ice pack, keeping everything in the box cool. Third of all, you can make up smoothies and then freeze them. You can buy reusable pouches that you can fill with a homemade smoothie. Because according to my children, fruit in smoothie form tastes so much better. Winning at life? You can thank me later.
Fussy Eater? Use Cookie Cutters
If you have a certain someone that doesn’t eat crusts, you can use cookie cutters to make their sandwiches more interesting. It cuts off the crust and hopefully means that they will actually eat the sandwiches. It means just one push down of the cutter, instead of a few cuts with a knife. Saving you a wee bit of time. The cutters could work on things like fruit and cheese too. Here is a fun fact for you – food shaped like a bunny or a heart is 270% more delicious, don’t ya know.
Bulk Buy Snacks
If you always have a lot of snacks in, it makes it easier to just throw them in a lunchbox. So buy in bulk where you can. Little pots of sugar-free jelly make great snacks in a lunchbox – one of my two’s favourite things! So we buy things like that in bulk. It saves you money in the long run, as well as stress from worrying about what you have got in the house.
Have a Lunch Box They Love
In my experience, if they are able to choose a lunchbox that they love, and even decorate it themselves, they are much more likely to want to use it. So if you’d like one like the one we have been decorating, you can get your hands on one. Hartley’s is giving you the chance to claim a free lunchbox with stickers if you collect 12 special edition green lids from their jelly pots as part of its #HartleysYourLunchbox campaign. All you have to do to claim your free lunchbox is visit their website once you’ve collected lids from the jelly pots and fill in your details.
Have you got any lunchbox tips with starting school around the corner?
*This post is an entry for BritMums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly.