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School Lunch Hacks

When it gets to lunchtime at school, your kids are probably pretty hungry. So how can you optimize your time in the morning and maximize the space in their lunch boxes? Try out some of these school lunch hacks that will get everyone out the door in no time. Don’t forget to keep in mind the rules for a safe school lunch. If you’re looking for other ways to help save time, explore our make-ahead lunch recipes. You might even want to enlist the kids’ help with some kid-friendly lunch ideas—teach them to be self-sufficient while you get a reprieve from the morning rush! Some of the following school lunch tips are time savers, and they’re space-savers too.

School Lunch Tips

  • One of our favorite school lunch hacks comes in handy when you don’t have a spare ice pack handy. Freeze a Capri Sun and place it in your kids’ lunchbox along with a frozen gel pack. It’ll keep the food chilled and will be thawed by lunchtime.
  • Go for variety. Make sandwiches using whole grain tortillas, bagels or pitas in addition to the tried-and-true white bread.
  • Pack antibacterial wet wipes so your kids can clean their hands before and after eating without having to make a trek all the way to the bathroom.
  • Add grated veggies to sandwiches and wraps for crunch–your kids won’t notice they’re eating something that’s good for them!
  • Use small resealable bags to pack dressings. Kids can open one corner and simply squeeze onto their salad, then discard.
  • Get dipping! Pack salsa, hummus, yogurt or salad dressing for your little ones to dunk their sandwich, veggies or fruit into.
  • Make bite-sized and mini versions of regular foods like sandwiches. You can use slider rolls instead of full-size bread, or cut them up into small squares or triangles. They work especially well for small appetites and are more likely to be eaten.
  • Add a quick note to say good luck on a test or “I love you”–it will brighten your child’s day.
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