If you wonder if packing your lunch is worth it, try it and find out! You’ll save on buying lunch every day, and you’ll enjoy delicious and healthy options you actually like. Plus, if you have children, you’ll be able to pack lunch for the whole family in one very rewarding session. We have 8 simple lunch box tips for grown-ups and kids that will help you pack your own lunch easily every day. Besides, March 10 is a National Pack Your Lunch Day, and it’s the perfect reason to have your lunch box ready to take to work, school, on a picnic, or where ever you spend the day.
Smart Lunch Packaging Solutions
Invest in good, different-sized food storage containers. These are going to last you for a very long time, so spend a little extra here. BPA-free plastic or glass containers are the best choices out there. These ensure you have a leak-proof way to transport food that is more environmentally friendly than plastic bags or aluminum foil. Some containers are also microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, which you will appreciate later.
Lunch Box It
A well-made lunch box is another convenient option that will save your food from getting squashed or melted. Besides helping organize your belongings, it will make your lunch easily recognizable among others in the office fridge. Plus, a lunch box makes it easy to bring your empty containers home with you.
Create a lunchbox station in your pantry. Use clear containers with labels (e.g. snacks, fruit, drinks, chips, cookies). This way you will always clearly see and use the items in your pantry. With loads of boxes on the shelves, they can often get lost in the shuffle, but having them organized helps you use everything without purchasing duplicate items. Plus, when you set up your pantry this way, it’s easy for even young children to kids can assist with lunch preparations.
Use Edible Ice Packs
Keeping your food cold when you don’t have a fridge to store it in is a common problem. But ice packs get drippy, or even worse they can burst. You’ll keep your food nice and cold when you make your own ice pack out of a frozen juice box, water bottle, or other drink you love (though we do recommend staying away from freezing anything carbonated as it can burst). Another great idea for an edible ice pack is frozen grapes. The night before packing lunch, place washed grapes in a sealable plastic bag and pop the bag in the freezer. The next morning, throw it in your lunch box and when lunch rolls around they will be thawed and ready to eat. And your lunch will still be nice and cold.
Prep in Advance
Start planning your week’s lunch menus in advance. Make sure you have all the ingredients and think about ways to get ahead: slice fruit, cut enough carrots and celery for the week, and store veggies in the fridge in an airtight container filled with water. Freezing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is another helpful trick (see below).
New Old Favorites
Did you know that you can freeze your PBJs sandwiches for the week instead of making them daily? Make your life easier by making a bunch at a time and storing them in a zip bag in the freezer. Remember to spread peanut butter on both slices of bread with jelly in between to prevent the jelly from making your bread soggy. These sandwiches will stay fresh for up to six weeks, and are another great way to keep an edible “ice pack” in your lunch bag. The sandwich will thaw by lunchtime, and nobody will be able to tell the difference.
Don’t Let It Get Soggy
If you’re a sandwich lover, here are some simple tricks to help you prevent your sandwiches from getting soggy when you get to eat it. If you make homemade hoagies or wraps, put the veggies and dressing in separate containers, and assemble everything right before you eat. When making meat and cheese sandwiches, avoid putting mayonnaise and mustard directly on the bread. Instead, put it in between the cold cuts and lettuce (this also applies to mushy toppings like tomatoes). For PB&Js, spread the peanut butter on both slices and jam goes in between.
Brighten up your loved ones’ day with a fun letter written on a banana! Yes, that’s right. Use a toothpick to write or draw a secret message on the banana peel, and as it browns the message will appear. Leave a love note for your significant other, remind your kids to do their homework or make yourself smile with a funny quote. There are endless ways to get creative here!
Are there any other helpful lunchbox tips we forgot to mention? Tell us how you prepare your lunchbox and make sure to celebrate National Pack Your Lunch Day with a delicious homemade lunch!