Packing lunches for the kids is something I really enjoy doing.
Well, ok, at 6:30 in the morning when I’m actually doing it I don’t know that I would say that I’m having a fun time. But I enjoy knowing exactly what is in the kiddos lunch. I like having control over the quality of the ingredients used. I like that I can save money. So all in all-it’s an activity that I enjoy doing.
Over the years I’ve written a lot about packing lunches. During the school year most days I post a picture and description of the kiddos lunches–the “Lunchbox Report”– on the Frugal Upstate Facebook page. I’ve written about how to save money packing school lunches, 4 reasons to pack your lunch, how to keep stuff hot in a lunchbox, what kind of thermos I use, and even my initial planning strategy for lunches.
So when Walmart challenged me to buy some new lunchbox supplies and get creative with my kids lunches you may think that I wouldn’t have anything left to talk about.
Ha! Those who know me well can tell you with great certainty–I am rarely without anything to say!
First I headed off to my local Walmart to pick up supplies:
I picked up a new “grownup” looking lunchbag for Princess–she is going to be in MIDDLE SCHOOL. . . we can’t have any baby-ish lunchbox you know. I added in my favorite Gladware re-useable 8oz containers, some new Mainstays BPA free sandwich contianers, a couple of metal sub zero brand water bottles, and some silicon cupcake molds I found in the cake decorating aisle. (Don’t worry, I’ll explain the cupcake molds). Although I’m not being militant about it or anything, I’m trying to move towards non plastic containers or at least BPA free when it’s available. I was impressed that Walmart now has some very reasonably priced options with their Mainstays brand.
When I got home I created a few fun lunchbox ideas. Let’s face it-kids enjoy a lunch that looks fun!
I started off with a checkerboard sandwich:
How fun is that? All you do is make whatever type of sandwich that your child likes-but use one slice of wheat bread and one slice of white. Then you cut the sandwich into either 4ths or 6ths and flip every other one over to make a checkerboard pattern. Super simple to do, but it looks so cool! Not only that, but kids love “little” things, so that adds to the fun. Who knows, if you have someone who is reluctant to eat anything except white bread the fun factor might even get them to eat their wheat bread!
Here’s another way to make a regular sandwich fun. I picked up couple of cute cookie cutters while I was in the Walmart cake decorating aisle:
You can use other types of sandwiches of course-but PB&J just sticks together so well. Also if you want to have less waste you can push the cookie cutter all the way through the sandwich but then leave the cut out shape in place–more like a sandwich puzzle. that way your child gets the fun of the shape which they can pull out and eat, but the rest of the sandwich is there so that they have more food.
Finally-I promised I’d tell you what the silicon cupcake molds were for. This is a tip I picked up from some cool bento lunch sites. You can use paper cupcake liners or silicon cupcake molds as a way to divide and organize items in your kids lunchbox! I like the idea of the silicon molds because they are reusable:
What a fun and colorful way to pack a variety of foods into a single container. Once the lid goes on my new sandwich boxes the molds are tall enough that the foods inside don’t tumble out and roll around.
So what do you think? Will these ideas help get you out of a lunchbox rut? What ideas do YOU use to make your kids lunchboxes fun?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.