4 Make Ahead Lunch Box Ideas for Back to School

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Back to School for our family looks a little differently than most. As a homeschooling family our daily routine isn’t so much about getting out the door in the mornings on time but rather making sure we stay on schedule so we aren’t doing schoolwork all day long. It is easier to take breaks when you homeschool and I’ve found that keeping to a schedule helps us get our schoolwork completed at a reasonable pace.

One part of our homeschool day that can really waste time is lunch. When you homeschool you have to make lunch in the middle of your day, there is no quick visit to a cafeteria. While I love a hot lunch, the time it takes to make and eat a hot lunch on a weekday can easily waste 2 hours out of the middle of our day making it harder to complete our lessons after lunch.

4 Make Ahead Lunch Box Ideas for Back to School

This year I wanted to do something differently with our routine. That way, when one person is ready for lunch break they can easily grab a “lunch box” and have lunch without disturbing others that may be studying or working.

By packing these lunch boxes the night before it will save me time of having to prepare lunch at lunchtime. Instead we can all just grab a lunch box, eat, and get back to our studies.

To create our lunch boxes, I visited my local Walmart to find all of the supplies and food we needed. For our “lunch box” I decided to use some large Great Value entree containers. To divide different foods in our lunch I opted for some tin foil cupcake liners. The tin foil liners are sturdier than paper. One could also use reusable cupcake liners. Another option would be to use a container with dividers already built into it.

4 Make Ahead Lunch Box Ideas for Back to School

Lunch #1: Mini Sandwiches

  • potato rolls, peanut butter and jelly
  • banana
  • grapes

Lunch #2: Meat & Cheese Wrap

  • strawberries
  • chocolate pudding
  • turkey, white american cheese, and tortilla

Lunch #3: Ham & Cheese Crackers

  • triscuits
  • cheddar cheese
  • meat slices
  • animal crackers

Lunch #4: Pretzels & Fruit

  • fruit salad
  • pretzels
  • apple sauce

By purchasing products in a large container you are helping the environment eliminating individual package waste. Also, you are saving money as well as each container holds several servings. I love that each lunch box can be completely customized to an individuals taste.

Pretty soon, I hope to get the kids involved by adding “pack your lunch box for the next day” as a part of the kid’s evening routine. This will be a great way for them to learn how to make healthy choices and take charge of their own lunches.

4 Make Ahead Lunch Box Ideas for Back to School

Depending on what is packed into these lunch boxes will determine how travel friendly they are. If transporting something like pudding, I would definitely skip the tin foil cupcake liner and use something more spill proof like a small resealable container.

Similar to these lunch box ideas, if your child is in traditional brick and mortar schools another option would be to create a breakfast box the night before. The kids can easily grab from the fridge in the morning to eat before school which will save a lot of “what do I eat for breakfast?” questions in the morning.

How does your family prepare for lunch time during back to school?

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