School Lunches Made Easy

Toby is getting ready for his first day of kindergarten. (“I’m a little bit excited and a little bit nervous,” he says.) I can’t believe he has gotten so big, it’s crazy. As we gear up to pack daily lunches, I wanted to share ideas for making things easier, and I’d love to hear yours…

1. Create a list of lunch ideas with your child. If I blank on what to pack (happens more often than not first thing in the morning!), I’ll glance over the giant list we made together: Oh, yeah, banana pancakes; oh, right, grilled cheese.

2. Make one vegetable for the week. We choose a trusty veggie — broccoli, peas, sweet potato fries — and make a ton of it on Sunday nights. Then we put that vegetable in lunches all week long. Our kids don’t seem to mind the repetition!

3. Write a secret message. If you scratch a note on the skin of a banana using a toothpick, it will magically appear a few minutes later. I’ve never done this, but I’m planning to draw a car on the first day of school.

4. Last but not least: We’ve found the online snack delivery service NatureBox to be fantastic for school lunches. They make packing lunches so much easier. Our current favorites include Kale Chips, Blueberry Almonds, Dried Mango, Whole Wheat Strawberry Figgy Bars, Chocolate Banana Chips, Apple Pie Oat Clusters and Guacamole Bites. You can choose from over 100 delicious snacks; see their full snack collection here.

Here, Toby reviews four lunches…

School Lunches Made Easy

Meatballs, guacamole bites, banana, blueberries


School Lunches Made Easy

Broccoli, apples, power mix, chicken fingers

“I’ll take that. I like chicken fingers and I like cranberries and I like broccoli. I would eat all of them! I would eat them at the same time. I would take one of each thing at a time.”

School Lunches Made Easy

Dried seaweed, rotisserie chicken, tiniest grape & strawberry kabob, hummus & crackers

“I like the kabob. I really like the kabob. Because I like kabobs. Chicken and hummus, I want it in this box.”

School Lunches Made Easy

Blueberry nom noms, peas, egg, pasta

“I don’t like egg. No. All right.” [Proceeds to eat the egg first.]

School Lunches Made Easy

What do you make for school lunches? I’d love to hear any ideas…

Bonus for everyone: Get your first box on them when you sign up for NatureBox.

(Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by NatureBox, whose snacks our family has loved for years. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)